One of Napier's most admired heritage sites, this restored facade is part of the Ellison & Duncan building in Ahuriri.
The original building was designed by Louis Hay as part of the reconstruction of Napier following the 1931 earthquake. Distinctive Mayan-inspired patterns below the parapet "brow" are a trademark detail employed by the Napier architect, who also designed the iconic National Tobacco Company building nearby.
Occupied by wine and spirit and general merchants, the Ellison & Duncan building stood on the north side of a section of Waghorne Street in Ahuriri. The street was subsequently closed, and the building was then used as part of a road transport and warehouse facility.
Although the building was demolished to make way for a house development, a cooperative effort by the developers and the Napier City Council resulted in the facade being relocated to Barry Street in 1993. Here, it backs onto an apartment building, effectively forming part of the boundary wall for the residential complex.
The significant restoration project involved replacing flashings, sandblasting and re-rendering surfaces, adding glazing tiles that were part of the original detailing and repainting the original colour scheme using paint fragments as a guide.
The facade upgrade, featuring witty window murals by artist Brenda Morrell, received a merit award in the Art Deco Trust's annual awards.
Barry Street, Ahuriri
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