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137 The Square - Former Hepworth Building

Former -Hepworth -Building

Building Details

Building name: Former Hepworth Building (Steeles)
Address: 137 The Square
Construction date: 1917
Architect: R Thorrold-Jaggard
Architectural sytle: Free Style
District Plan Category: Street Character 18
Building number: 11
Heritage NZ Category: 2
Building number: 1270


This commercial building was erected for Herbert Hepworth, a pharmacist, in 1917. Designed by Thorrold-Jaggard it was built at a cost of £1504 and originally included living quarters upstairs. The building was bought by the O'Connor family in the early 1940s and leased to Steeles, whose name can still be seen in relief above the upper storey windows. The building was later leased to Peacocks before being bought by Sound City who still own the building.


The building is designed in the late Edwardian Free style using some features of Queen Anne, such as the oriel window, casements, combination of colours and some elements of the Classical orders. The combination of materials, such as brick, cement render, tiles and timber joinery, is reminiscent of the design of late Victorian public houses.


Jaggard was born and educated in England. He received his articles there before emigrating to New Zealand in 1913. He settled in Palmerston North and soon met and married Lily Daisy Collier who had been recruited in London by the local firm of Collinson and Cunningham as a dressmaker. Jaggard was initially in the employ of Oscar Jorgeson, a well known local architect, before setting up his own practice. In the ensuing years many local buildings and domestic dwellings were designed by Jaggard. Among those still standing are the Former Hepworth Building (1917), King Street Flats (1925), Square Edge (1945), Ward Brothers building (1936), Family Entertainment Centre, The Square (1935) and House, 314 Church St. The firm was carried on by his son W Thorrold-Jaggard who sold the practice in 1962.

Summary of Heritage Values

Association with Herbert Hepworth, and the architect R Thorrold-Jaggard.

The use of a typical early 20th century design style and colours for a  small commercial premises, now uncommon. The building has considerable urban design values.

The building has exterior and interior authenticity and, by virtue of its design style and location, is a landmark building in the Square.

The building has economic, functional and educational values.

Statement of Significance

This building has no great historical importance but by virtue of its long occupation of The Square as a small commercial building it adds much to the city's heritage. The building is a significant building contributing to the urban fabric of the Square because of its unique style, use of materials, and scale.

Building Permit Plans, PNCC (Microfilm file), 530/166
City Planning Dept. PNCC 1987, "Historic Palmerston North 1987" (Calendar), PNCC, PNCC Archives