Mar 7, 2009


Barry King bought Christchurch's oldest bicycle shop for $200 in 1945 and continued to operate the business until 2008, when it was offered for sale by the 83 year-old as a potential redevelopment site.

Situated on the north-eastern corner of Barbadoes and Armagh Streets, the historically significant circa 1875 building has been remodeled rather than conserved. 

Close to half a dozen backpacker hostels, the shop reopened in February, 2009 as the "funky retro" Beat Street CafĂ©.  Case Ornsby and Tobin Smith's Form Architecture + Design Ltd now occupy the upper floor.


Jayne said...

I prefer the original windows BUT I'm glad the building wasn't demolished!

Canterbury Heritage said...

They weren't the original circa 1875 windows, but probably 1920s replacements for quarter pane drop sash windows.

The interior has been substantially modified, with internal walls and the chimney piece removed, but like you, I'm also glad that unlike the early 1860s house on the opposite corner, the building wasn't demolished to make way for yet another dreary block of neo-brutalist town houses.

Sarndra said...

*sigh* ANOTHER cafe..... i used to visit the Kings the odd time with my aunt who knew them. Shame the shop couldn't be retained as a *shop* rather than a cafe, it just looks...odd to me, but as already mentioned, at least it wasn't demolished.