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138-139 The Square - Former O’Connor and Tydeman Building

Former -O'Connor -and -TydemanBuilding Details

Building name: Former O'Connor and Tydeman Building (Stubbs)
Address: 138-139 The Square
Construction date: 1923
Architect: Unknown
Architectural style: Free Style Neo Classical
District Plan Category: Street Character 23
Building number: 12
Heritage NZ Category: 2
Building number: 1271


This building was purpose-built by PF O'Connor for three businesses. A dentistry was upstairs and O'Connor and Tydeman, jewellers, and Barry and Freeman, optometrists, downstairs. Later that decade another jeweller, Norman Stubbs, took over from O'Connor and Tydeman and occupied the building until 1983.  Barry and Freeman's was later occupied by a coffee shop, then S. Rush and Sons, wood and coal merchants. The latter also ran a lending library and leased part of their shop to a tobacconist. In 1961 Linen House took over the lease and they were followed by Jean Zone. In 1981 Jean Zone bought the whole building. The upstairs portion was occupied successively by a land agent, osteopath, colour therapist and a manufacturing jeweller.


The exterior of the building is in the Free Style with the exaggerated use of the heavily rusticated arch and keystone. These elements are also similar to the Arts and Crafts style. The building has a simple progression of spaces from the street-front commercial sales area to the rear service areas.  The stair is located near the front entrance.  The upper floor has a similar range and location of spaces.

Summary of Heritage Values

Association with O'Connor and Tydeman, and the architect for the building.

The use of a unique version of an early 20th century design style for small commercial premises. 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 vaIues.

Statement of Significance

Like its next-door neighbour, the Hepworth Building, this slender two storey structure is of modest historical significance but it has seen over 70 years of continuous commercial activity within its walls.  It is a now increasingly rare link with smaller business premises of earlier this century, and has unique and landmark design values. As with the Hepworth building, this building contributes greatly to the urban design of the Square because of the exterior design, materials, and scale.

Building Permit Plans, PNCC (Microfilm file), 530/168-169
City Planning Dept. PNCC 1987, "Historic Palmerston North 1987" (Calendar), PNCC, PNCC Archives
NZHPT Manawatu District Committee, O'Connor and Tydeman Building File, Manawatu Museum