Shops and Dwellings

Russell Terrace, 250 Riddiford Street, 252 Riddiford Street, 254 Riddiford Street, 256 Riddiford Street, 258 Riddiford Street, 260 Riddiford Street

250-262 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington
Map
  • Constructed

    1901 - 1901

  • Architect(s)

    Unknown

  • Builder(s)

    E. Bishop

  • 250 – 262 Riddiford Street is a much-altered terrace of seven shop/dwellings. The buildings are good representative examples of Edwardian timber mixed-use commercial buildings, but their architectural/aesthetic value has been somewhat diminished by the removal of the original shop-fronts. 

    These buildings have had uneventful histories that are typical of their Newtown neighbours. They are associated with the development of twentieth century Newtown and its commercial development into a central shopping and commercial district. 

    The terrace is made up of a distinct group of seven individual buildings that were built for Hamilton and Gilmer in 1901.

  • close History
    • These seven buildings at 250-262 Riddiford Street were built as a terrace of shop/residences at the turn of the century. They are now an important element of the Riddiford and Newtown streetscapes, adding significant architectural and historic character of southern Newtown. 

      The buildings were originally built on Russell Terrace, but the address was changed to Riddiford Street when the road layout was altered. They were constructed as a speculative housing and retail development for Hamilton Gilmer by contractor E. Bishop. Each unit was built as a mixed use building, with a retail space on the ground floor and accommodation above.  This arrangement appears to have survived until at least 1995, and many of the original shop-fronts are visible in photographs in the WCC Heritage Inventory of that date.  

      The shops have all since been adapted for residential use, and the original shop-fronts replaced with a bay window and an entrance door. The central building – No.256 – now has a splayed bay window that was installed in c.1998; the remaining buildings all have near-identical rectangular bays and appear to have been converted into ground and first floor apartments in c.2001.
    • Modifications close
      • 1901 - 1901
      • Russell Terrace [250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, 262 Riddiford Street], seven shops and dwellings (00053:74:4451)
      • 1946 - 1946
      • 258 Riddiford Street, alter dwelling (00056:326:B25429)
      • 1998 - 1998
      • 256 Riddiford Street, installation of bay window (00078:379:42608)
      • 2001 - 2001
      • 258 Riddiford Street, additions and alterations (00078:1225:81200)
      • 2001 - 2001
      • 250-262 Riddiford Street, apartment fit-outs (00078:622:72431)
      • 2001 - 2001
      • 256 Riddiford Street, fitout of two units, bathrooms, kitchen (00078:815:80957)
      • 2001 - 2001
      • 258 Riddiford Street, additions and alterations, level 1 and ground floor (00078:1225:80118)
    • Occupation History close

      Not assessed

  • close Architectural Information
    • Building Classification(s) close

      Not assessed

    • Architecture close

      This terrace of seven two-storey Edwardian shop/dwellings has been much-altered over the past 110+ years. The buildings are tall and narrow and are separated by a (presumably brick) party wall. The roofs are mono-pitch and are concealed behind a high parapet. Each building has a typical terrace ‘L’ shaped plan that allows light to penetrate into the rear rooms.

      The street façade of the terrace is the most decorative. The façade is divided vertically into units by the projecting party wall. Each unit is topped by a tall parapet that terminates with a simple stepped ‘coping’. The most prominent horizontal element is the projecting timber cornice that is ‘supported’ by a row of ornate brackets and punctuated by consoles at each party wall. The cornice is the only decorative feature of the building. The paired sash windows were also a feature of the original design.

      At each building the ground floor conversion from shop to residential unit is somewhat less successful. All of the buildings have had their original shop-fronts removed, and replaced with a recessed wall clad in rusticated weatherboards and a new bay window. The three northernmost & southernmost buildings all have a similar rectangular bay window. The central building - No. 256 – differs slightly and features a splayed bay window. This building has also been adorned with a somewhat random collection of balustrading that has been incorporated as a ‘fence’ around the ground floor bay, applied to the first floor façade above the entrance door. This is a c.1990s addition that appears to bear no relation to the original external appearance of the building.

      The modern alterations to the shop-fronts are problematic. The design of the alterations has obscured the buildings’ original use – as the southernmost group of shops in the Newtown town centre. Despite this lack of sensitivity to the history of the buildings; the somewhat difficult proportions of the new bay-windows; and the fact that the buildings are now in multiple ownership - some care has been taken to preserve the terrace as a row of near-identical buildings. The terrace is remarkably cohesive, and there is some value in the contribution it makes to the streetscape.

    • Materials close

      Painted timber weatherboard

      Timber joinery and detailing

      Rendered brick party walls

    • Setting close

      The terrace of buildings at 250 – 262 Riddiford Street is flanked to the north by a two-storey Victorian/Edwardian shop/dwelling, and to the south by a row of two-storey villas that were built at a similar date.

      The buildings mark the south-western extent of the Newtown shopping centre – although it does not form part of the Newtown Central Suburban Centre Heritage Area. This heritage area is known for its largely uninterrupted streetscape of Victorian and Edwardian commercial buildings - which impart a distinctive character and strong sense of identity to the area. The wider context is suburban Newtown – one of Wellington’s largest and best-known suburbs that was developed in the ‘tram-era’ between about 1880 and the early to mid 20th century.

  • close Cultural Value

    250 – 262 Riddiford Street is a much-altered terrace of seven shop/dwellings. The buildings are good representative examples of Edwardian timber mixed-use commercial buildings, but their architectural/aesthetic value has been somewhat diminished by the removal of the original shop-fronts.

    These buildings have had uneventful histories that are typical of their Newtown neighbours. They are associated with the development of twentieth century Newtown and its commercial development into a central shopping and commercial district.

    The terrace is made up of a distinct group of seven individual buildings that were built for Hamilton and Gilmer in 1901.

    • Aesthetic Value close
      • Architectural

        Does the item have architectural or artistic value for characteristics that may include its design, style, era, form, scale, materials, colour, texture, patina of age, quality of space, craftsmanship, smells, and sounds?

        250 – 262 Riddiford Street is a much-altered terrace of seven shop/dwellings. The buildings are good representative examples of Edwardian timber mixed-use commercial buildings, but their architectural/aesthetic value has been somewhat diminished by the removal of the original shop-fronts.

      • Group

        Is the item part of a group of buildings, structures, or sites that taken together have coherence because of their age, history, style, scale, materials, or use?

        The terrace is made up of a distinct group of seven individual buildings that were built for Hamilton and Gilmer in 1901.

      • Townscape

        Does the item have townscape value for the part it plays in defining a space or street; providing visual interest; its role as a landmark; or the contribution it makes to the character and sense of place of Wellington?

        This terrace of converted shop/dwellings marks the south-westernmost extent of the Newtown Central Shopping Area, and forms the transition between the commercial zone to the north, and the suburban residential housing to the south.

    • Historic Value close
      • Association

        Is the item associated with an important historic event, theme, pattern, phase, or activity?

        These buildings have had uneventful histories that are typical of their Newtown neighbours. They are associated with the development of twentieth century Newtown and its commercial development into a central shopping and commercial district.

    • Scientific Value close
      • Archaeological

        Does the item have archaeological value for its ability to provide scientific information about past human activity?

        Central City NZAA R27/270

    • Social Value close
      • Identity - Sense Of Place - Continuity

        Is the item a focus of community, regional, or national identity? Does the item contribute to sense of place or continuity?

        Although this row of shop/dwellings have been somewhat altered by the removal of their original shop-fronts they continue to make some contribution to the sense of place and identity of Riddiford Street (as a streetscape of Victorian and Edwardian buildings.)

    • Level of Cultural Heritage Significance close
      • Authentic

        Does the item have authenticity or integrity because it retains significant fabric from the time of its construction or from later periods when important additions or modifications were carried out?

        The buildings retain much of their original built fabric, but have been somewhat compromised by the loss of their original shop-fronts.

      • Representative

        Is the item a good example of the class it represents?

        The buildings are representative examples of the type of Edwardian shop/residences that were once commonplace throughout Wellington and its suburbs.

      • Local/Regional/National/International

        Is the item important for any of the above characteristics at a local, regional, national, or international level?

        This group of buildings are locally significant for their architectural, townscape, and group values.

    • Local / Regional / National / International Importance close

      Not assessed

  • close Site Detail
    • District Plan Number

      6/ 404

    • Legal Description

      Lots 1-7 DP 89342

    • Heritage New Zealand Listed

      Not listed

    • Archaeological Site

      City Central NZAA 27/270, Maori Site of Significance

    • Current Uses

      unknown

    • Former Uses

      unknown

    • Has building been funded

      No

    • Funding Amount

      Not applicable

    • Earthquake Prone Status

      Not Earthquake Prone

  • close Additional Information
    • Sources close
      • Wellington City Council. ‘250-262 Riddiford Street.’ Wellington Built Heritage Inventory 1995. Wellington City Council, 1995.
      • Archives: 1901 Russell Terrace [250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, 262 Riddiford Street], seven shops and dwellings (00053:74:4451)
      • Archives: 2001 250-262 Riddiford Street, apartment fitouts (00078:622:72431)
      • Archives: 1998 256 Riddiford Street, installation of bay window (00078:379:42608)
      • Archives: 2001 256 Riddiford Street, fitout of two units, bathrooms, kitchen(00078:815:80957)
      • Archives: 1946 258 Riddiford Street, alter dwelling (00056:326:B25429)
      • Archives: 2001 258 Riddiford Street, additions and alterations, level 1 and ground floor(00078:1225:80118)
      • Archives: 2001 258 Riddiford Street, additions and alterations (00078:1225:81200)
    • Technical Documentation close
    • Footnotes close

      Not available

Last updated: 25/07/2017 4:47:56 a.m.