Jenny May Architectural Historian, Heritage Management Services

The Corner Buildings – Fisher’s, ANZ, Strange and Co.

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We have a whole series of triangles that defined High Street, they were made into garden plots and then we had architects answering that by building those buildings that wrapped around corners.

Jenny May

Fisher's Building was constructed for Reverend T.R. Fisher, a former Wesleyan minister.  Upon his arrival in Christchurch in 1857 he established a grocery store in a wooden building on the corner of High and Hereford Streets. In 1859 he resumed his ministerial career; he retired from business in 1871. This building was erected to replace the previous wooden store that had stood on the triangular site at the intersection of High Street and Hereford Street since Fisher opened his store in 1857.

Later James George Hanafin established a pharmacy in Fisher's Building, which was taken over by his son in 1920. In 1981 James's grandson, Lawry Hanafin opened a one-hour photographic shop in the same premises. When the Hereford Street facade of the building was repaired in 1989 important parts of the original fabric including Corinthian columns, an embossed drainpipe and original stonework, were discovered and restored.

  • Image: Heritage New Zealand
  • Image: Doc Ross
  • Image: Doc Ross
  • Unknown source. Courtesy of Doc Ross.
  • Image: Doc Ross
  • Image: Doc Ross

Building information

Fisher’s Building
280 High Street
Cnr Hereford and High street
Date: 1870 – 1880s
Architect: William Armson
Previously registered as a Category 2 historic place

ANZ Bank Chambers
188 High Street
Architects: Clarkson and Ballanytyne
Previously registered as a Category 1 historic place

Strange and Co. Building
219 High Street
Architect: Armson, Collins and Harman
Date: 1899-1900
Previously registered as a Category 1 historic place