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Cranmer Bridge Club
25 Armagh Street, Christchurch
Cranmer Club (Inc.)
Registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I Historic Place (Register Number 3703)
Listed on the Christchurch City Council City Plan as Group 1
Insurance Shortfall - approx. $250,000.00
WHY CRANMER BRIDGE CLUB MATTERS
Many Christchurch people would be familiar with the window-less red weatherboard facade at the corner of Armagh St and Cranmer Square. Few would probably realise however that this modest former home, once known as Red House, is regarded as one of New Zealand's most architecturally significant buildings.
The first part of the house was constructed by wine and spirit merchant Dugald MacFarlane in 1864, of the then highly unusual material of brick. One of the city's oldest residences, it was severely damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes and subsequently demolished.
In 1899 MacFarlane's former home was purchased by prominent Christchurch architect Samuel Hurst Seager. Known particularly for his domestic work, Seager was one of the first architects to seek to design houses with a distinct New Zealand character. When he came to add to his own home therefore, he chose to express this ideal by quoting from the work of another Christchurch architect whom he felt also embodied this philosophy – his former teacher, Benjamin Mountfort. Consequently the gated porch at 25 Armagh St is a direct quote from the entrance arcade of Mountfort's Christchurch Club (1859). This is believed to be the first time that a New Zealand architect had directly referenced the work of another colonial architect in an effort to establish a New Zealand architectural tradition. Seager's addition remains extant, and currently awaits its future.
Which aspects of the building will benefit from the money fundraised?
The building requires new foundations and the north facade needs permanent repair.
1864: Dugald MacFarlane, wine and spirit merchant, builds the first, brick, part of the house to serve as both residence and business premises.
1899: Architect Samuel Hurst Seager purchases property to serve as both studio and home; adds timber Armagh Street frontage. Later owners included prominent architect J J Collins and L G D Acland, author of Early Canterbury Runs.
1921: longest standing resident Dr Douglas Anderson moves in. Armagh St once contained a number of doctors' surgeries.
1964: Anderson sells property to Cranmer Bridge Club
2010-2011: building severely damaged in Christchurch Earthquakes; original brick section of house demolished.