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112-114 King Street - Para Rubber

Building Details

Building name: Para Rubber (former Salvation Army Junior Hall)
Address: 112-114 King Street
Coinstruction date: 1922
Architect: William Gray Young
Architectural style: Neo-Georgian
District Plan Category: 2
Building number: 47
Heritage NZ Category: 2


This building was originally built for the Salvation Army and occupied a section of land stretching from Broadway Avenue to King Street. The Broadway elevation was built as the entrance to the Army's citadel while the rear, or King Street facade, fronted the Junior Hall. Built at a cost of £8795 the building was finished in 1922. The building was occupied by the Army until relatively recently when it was taken over by the Para Rubber Co. who completely remodelled the Broadway facade in 1988. The Salvation Army held its first meeting in Palmerston North in 1883. The Army evidently suffered some resistance to its presence in the city before it won over local people. It occupied a number of different venues in the intervening years before buying the Broadway/King Street site, formerly a skating rink.


The building is a very elegant example of the classic Neo-Georgian style of the Late Renaissance period. The scrolled architraves and keystone to the central upper floor window, the bracketed cornice over the window immediately below, and the open bedded arched pediment above, are typical details of the period which contribute greatly to the sophistication of the design.  Consistent with the style, the building is symmetrical, has quoins, a string course, bracketed box eaves, and simple proportions.  The interior has two large spaces on the first and ground floors with a stair at the north.


Young was born in Oamaru. When he was a child his family moved to Wellington where he was educated. After leaving school he was articled to the Wellington architectural firm of Chrichton and Mckay. In 1906 he won a competition for the design of Knox College, Dunedin, and shortly after this he commenced practice on his own account. He became a prominent New Zealand architect and during a career of 60 years he designed over 500 buildings. His major buildings include the Wellington and Christchurch Railway Stations (1936 and 1954 respectively), Scot's College (1919), Phoenix Assurance Building (1930) and the AMP Chambers (1950). At Victoria University College of Wellington he was responsible for the Stout (1930), Kirk (1938), and Easterfield (1957) buildings, and Weir House (1930). Gray Young also achieved recognition for his domestic work such as the Elliott house, Wellington (1913). His design for the Wellesley Club (1925) earned him the Gold Medal of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1932. His most successful period as an architect was in the firm of Gray Young, Morton Young, which he established. The firm continues to practice, under a different monicker, to this day. Gray Young was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 1913, served· on the executive committee from 1914-35 and was president from 1935-36. He was also elected a Fellow for the Royal Institute of British Architects, and achieved prominence in public affairs.

Summary of Heritage Values

The building has spiritual and religious values.

The building is associated with the Salvation Army, its members and leaders, and the architect.

The building is an elegant example of the Neo-Georgian style, well designed and detailed, all of which contribute to the building's significance to the streetscape.

The building is damaged by fire, but the ground floor and exterior are authentic, and it is an outstanding example of its period and is a landmark piece of architecture in Palmerston North.

The building has functional, educational, and social values.

Statement of Significance

Palmerston North has a number of long-standing ecclesiastical buildings in the city and the former Salvation Army Citadel and Junior Hall is another of these. It was occupied by the Army for some 60 years and is a lingering reminder of their active role in the community for many decades. The building is a landmark piece of architecture as both an outstanding example of Neo- Georgian architecture and a fine design by a significant architect.

Building Permit Plans, PNCC (Microfilm file), 296/134
Building Permit Register, PNCC, Archives Series 4/13/1, granted 21/4/22
Billens RH and HL Verry (Comp.) 1937, From Swamp to City, PN
GC Petersen, 1973, Palmerston North - A Centennial History. AH & AW Reed, Wellington
NZHPT Register of Architects