24 Corners wrote: This is so wonderful! I didn't know there was any information out there about Mary's shop. I love that it grew to be a long lasting establishment..she would have ben pleased. I'll have to try to find copies of both books, she was a fascinating woman and such a good friend to Charlotte...I wish their correspondance had survived.
My answer to her:
First of all, I love your comments. It is so nice to realise that you, living so far away from me (you in de USA and me in Holland), can be a friend because of our love for the Brontes!
Yes, me too, I wished Mary had kept her letters. The sweet Ellen kept, rebellious, most of the letters. But the independent Mary, who wanted to create her own fate, burned all hers. What a pity....
I wished I could much more find out about the background. I am searching a lot on the internet. Maybe someone living in New Zealand is reading this and have information?
I found this information on internet
- James Smiths Department Stores
p: 04 4736777
Website - None Supplied
Email - None Supplied
So, it still exist.
- I found this website
- I suddenly thought I look bij Google's Images
- And what did I see?
Cnr of Manners and Cuba Sts
Known as James Smith's Corner and built in 1907 for James Smith, an early settler who had built up a prosperous drapery business. This former department store remained in the Smith family until 1993. The Art Deco facade was designed in 1932 by King and Dawson. Inside murals are by Ruffo and Steve Templer.
There are five buildings that make up the complex still popularly known as James Smith's. The main corner building was designed by architects Penty and Blake, and was constructed in 1907 for George Winder, an ironmonger and importer who had owned the land since 1898. James Smith purchased the site in 1921 and, in 1932, architects King and Dawson supervised a complete refurbishment of the building, including a new facade.
The heavy Edwardian character of the original building can still be guessed at in the arrangement of windows, particularly in the paired round-headed windows of the top (fourth) floor. Otherwise the style is now Art Deco, with emphatic vertical piers, stepped skyline, fluted frieze at parapet level, and typical 1930s lettering that runs vertically down the central column on the Cuba Street/Manners Street corner. This character follows through into the interior spaces.
James Smith's is a pivotal building in Cuba Street as a landmark on the important Manners Street intersection. It has a long association with the retail trade as one of Wellington's best known department stores for over 70 years (1921-1993)
Like Stewart Dawson's, it has given its name to a street corner that all Wellingtonians knew as a landmark (at least until a few years ago when the store closed).
And I found more:
Wholesale and Retail Draper, Te Aro House, Cuba and Dixon Streets, Wellington. Branches: Hawera, Feilding, Palmerston North, Woodville, Norsewood, Waipukurau, Westport, Danevirke, Levin, and Greytown North. Telephone 220. Private residence, Wellington Terrace. London house, 9 Bush Lane, Cannon Street, E.C. Te Aro House was established in 1845 by a Miss Taylor, who soon disposed of it to the Misses Smith. Mr. Smith purchased Te Aro House—then a very small building in 1866.
From that time to the present there has been a succession of enlargements and improvements, culminating in one of the most prominent establishments in the City. The premises are freehold and built of brick, from plans by Mr. Thomas Turnbull, architect. The frontages, 105 feet to Cuba Street by 120 feet to Dixon Street, give in all 25,000 square feet of floorage. The carpet and other showrooms are really grand, and the tinting of the plastered walls is in excellent taste, and quite charming. From first to last Te Aro House is a credit to all concerned, and most decidedly an ornament to the City. Over one hundred hands are employed, including managers, clerks, cashiers, salesmen, saleswomen, tailors, dress-makers, milliners, upholsterers, packers, etc., etc.