Building Name: Former Club Hotel
Address: 374 Church Street
Construction date: 1905
Architect: LG West
Architectural style: Simplified Italianate
District Plan Category: 2
Building number: 40
Heritage NZ Category: Nil
The Club Hotel has had a long and varied history. The building that remains is just one of a number of structures that comprised, at some stage, the Club Hotel. The present building was erected for HB Tucker in 1905 and built by the Union Timber Sash and Door Co of Palmerston North. The Club Hotel was originally established in 1882 and owned by Percy Herman prior to being taking over by the Tucker family in 1900. The 1905 structure a brick extension to the existing wooden structures. Such was the cost of this extension (over £4000) that Tucker didn't pursue plans to build a whole new hotel in brick. Tucker died in 1937 and thereafter the hotel licence was taken over by his widow Caroline and the hotel managed by his son George. In recent years the building house PDC fabric shop and was last year converted back to a bar.
The style of the building is simplified Italinate with a strongly articulated base of vermiculated rusticated quoins. The upper floor has four symmetrically located windows above which is a cornice or parapet. The verandah to the street is new, but uses the original cast iron posts. The interior ground floor has been modified considerably to allow for a new bar.
Ludolph Georg West (1846-1919) was born in Denmark and arrived in New Zealand in 1868. He quickly went to the North Island and settled in Palmerston North. He married the daughter of a Johnsonville settler called Bannister. His first wife died in 1891 and he remarried in 1894. It was some years before West set up in practice as an architect but, in conjunction with his son Ernst Vilhem, he was responsible for a large number of Palmerston North's buildings. Among those still standing designed by the practice are the Former Club Hotel (1905), the Manawatu-Kilwinning Masonic Lodge (1908), the Old Soldiers Club (1917), the Church of Christ. Scientist (1931), Ward Brothers Building (1935). George West (he Anglicised his name) was Mayor from 1886-87, a borough Councillor and a prominent freemason. His son Ernst was a borough Councillor 1921-25.
Summary of Heritage Values
The association with the Tucker family, and the architect, LG West
The building is a very good example of the simplified Italinate used for commercial and entertainment buildings since the Reform Club by Sir Charles Barry in 1841.
The use of cement render to create an uncommon texture - vermiculation.
The style of the building is representative of a once common style which is now rare in Palmerston North.
The building has functional, economic, educational and social values in its current use.
Statement of Significance
The Club Hotel is, with the New Royal Hotel, a rare turn of the century hostelry. Palmerston North has relatively few hotels or taverns of any great age and the Club Hotel, now reduced to a portion of its former size, is an important reminder of the role of the hotel from early in the city's history. The building is a good example of a popular style for commercial buildings.
LG West & Son Archives, PNCC Archives, plan 373
Biographies Index, ATL
NZHPT Manawatu District Committee, Club Hotel File, Manawatu Museum