Corner Shops were once the lifeblood of a neighbourhood and had a variety of functions in the early community of Timaru.
This one, standing on the corner of Elizabeth and Grey Rd, is a good example of one that’s stood the test of time.
It is a two storey building in excellent condition. The year of its completion, 1910, is displayed on the angled top corner and it’s constructed out of plaster and Timaru red brick.
For a corner shop it has some pretty interesting feature plaster work. The sculpted gable with an appealing moulded spiral motif along the parapet façade provides an attractive top line to the building.
There is a dominant thick moulded string course hood mount that runs around the building above the windows on the first floor. String course is a horizontal row of masonry that extends across the façade of a structure or wraps around decorative elements like columns. It gives the appearance of eyebrows on this building.
The sash windows have arched keystone mouldings and they are symmetrically aligned on both street facades. The building is currently painted in a discreet grey but if you look you can see some panels of brick polychrome under the windows on the first storey which sounds sophisticated but is just a row of masonry, or several in this case, where different bricks are used to provide some relief from the predominant brickwork.
The ground floor façade features large glass windows , there is a bullnose veranda over the footpath and living quarters would have been at the back, with a scullery and outbuildings once in use.
It’s a characterful building that stands out amongst the low rise residences that surround it these days. Once the area would have been full of villas and cottages and I imagine the butcher/grocer/general store that may have been the original tenants would have been part of a busy and thriving Timaru community.
View by date