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Edison Hall

Built in the early twentieth century, the building at 230 Tuam Street became known as Edison Hall. It was demolished in 2011.

Edison Hall, Tuam Street, 8 August 2009
230 Tuam Street. Photographer (pht): Cafe Cecil, Contributor (ctb): Cafe Cecil. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

A photograph taken by J. M. Marks, dated circa 1900, shows a two storey stone building on the site. To the west, the building was adjoined by a wooden building. To the east, although partially separated by a covered alley way, it adjoined the addition to A. J. White’s which was built in 1900. Between 1901 and 1907, Thomas H. Fewings, a wicker furniture manufacturer, is listed as operating from 145 Tuam Street to the west of A. J. White’s. The stone building therefore may have originally been 145 Tuam Street. 

At some point, after the photograph was taken, the stone building was either demolished or renovated to become the building which remained on the site until 2011. The new building, built from brick and stone, retained a similar footprint but the façade was higher. The façade of the upper floor featured three windows topped by a decorative arch.  Above this was an arched parapet. 

The building may have been constructed between mid-1910 and January 1911, as by 18 January 1911 Wilkinson and Alabone were advertising their new premises next to A. J. Whites. By August 1912, the company was trading as Wilkinson and Andrew. Wilkinson and Andrew remained in the building until 1923. By then, the address had changed to 230 Tuam Street.

In July 1925, Edison Phonograph Business relocated to 230 Tuam Street after which the building became known as Edison Hall. In 1931, 3ZC Broadcasting Service operated on the first floor of the building. The broadcasting service was purchased by the New Zealand Farmers’ Co-operative Association of Canterbury Limited in March 1932 and relocated to their premises on Cashel Street.

By 26 May 1934, Butlers, a radio distributor, was operating from the building. In 1938, Vesta Battery Co had occupied the premises. They were still in occupancy by 1953. In August 1954, the building was auctioned. From 1956 to November 1960, Max Cheshire, distributors of industrial safety equipment, were situated in the building. 

W. P. Martin and Co, a hair stylist, was the occupant from 1964 to 1968. From 1970, a stationery firm, Stanton Bros Limited, occupied the building. In May, the building was auctioned. Stanton Bros remained in occupancy on the ground floor until May 1981 when they relocated to Lichfield Street. By 1985, the building was occupied by Chemist Supplies Limited.

By 2004, it had become Workshop, a fashion retailer. It remained Workshop until the building was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and subsequently demolished.