Building name: New Royal Hotel
Address: 44-52 Rangitikei Street
Construction date: 1898
Architectural style: Italianate
District Plan Category: 1
Building number: 18
Heritage NZ Category: Nil
The New Royal Hotel was built for the Dawick brothers, Arthur, Edward and William, whose family name was associated with the popular timber-built guest house erected on this site by their father Samuel in 1882. That building burnt down and was replaced by the present building which was completed in 1898 and still known as Dawick Buffet. Samuel had died in 1888. The hotel began with 42 rooms. Additions in 1902 and 1906 increased this to 90 and the Buffet was by then the biggest hotel, licensed or unlicensed, in Palmerston North. The Royal Hotel originally occupied the corner of Rangitikei Street and The Square. When the BNZ acquired the property in 1913 and removed the hotel the licence was taken over by the Dawick brothers and the hotel renamed the New Royal Hotel. However holding a liquor licence was not to their liking and they soon sold the business. The hotel has had a number of proprietors since and has most recently been owned by New Zealand Breweries.
The building is designed in the Italianate style, with the upper floor plan in a U form. The first floor is designed with long corridors with bedrooms leading off the corridors. The corridors terminate at the rear external escape stairs. The ground floor has the main central entrance off which are located the bars.
Summary of Values
There is continuity value as this is one of the oldest buildings in Palmerston North. It also has associational significance with previous owners and customers.
The building is a good example of the Italianate style popular for most commercial architecture in the late 19th Century.
A good representative example of the architectural style. The building is one of the oldest in the PaImerston North CBD. There is little interior authenticity but some authenticity of design is retained on the exterior.
Good functional, economic, and social values.
Statement of Significance
The New Royal Hotel is one of Palmerston North's oldest buildings and certainly its oldest hotel, although it was unlicensed for its first 15 years. The hotel has been an institution in a city now bereft of many of its older hotels. Its proximity to Rangitikei Street's stock and station agents and agricultural shops made the hotel very popular with farmers. It continues to serve patrons and overnight guests. The Italianate style of the exterior of the building contributes to the streetscape of Rangitikei Street.
City Planning Dept. PNCC 1987, "Historic Palmerston North 1987" (Calendar), PNCC, PNCC Archives
Billens RH and HL Verry (Camp) 1937, From Swamp to City. PN