Customhouse, Timaru

Customhouse, Timaru


Building Details

Name of Building: Customhouse, Timaru
Location: 2 Strathallan Street,
Date Plaque Unveiled: (not yet installed)
Current Owners: Timaru Civic Trust
Contact Details:  
Plaque Sponsor:  


Brief Historical Information:

The Timaru Custom House was built on a rounded corner site at the intersection of Strathallan and
Station Streets and Cains Terrace. It was perfectly located, being handy to both the port and the
railway station, and was seen as an important step in the development of Timaru’s town centre. It
remains of importance as part of the historic waterfront area in the story of our town.

After being housed in several temporary premises about the town including the Post Office, a hut
near the breakwater and an office in Beswick Street, the collector at the time must have been
delighted to move into a new and permanent Custom House purpose built for the job in 1901-2.

Local carpenter turned architect Daniel West designed the building which opened in August 1902. It
is Neoclassical in style. The construction material is brick covered in cement plaster and features
much classic detailing. It has a square footprint and gabled roof concealed by a parapet. The main
entrance to the building is through an entrance portico which is framed by pairs of fluted Doric

The Custom house and its staff were a vital part of the community through the first three-quarters
of the 20th century. Eventually the building was relinquished by the government in 1976 and was
converted to commercial use.

In mid-2018 The Timaru Civic Trust purchased this property and it continues to function as a

Restoration and Current Owner Story

Coming soon...

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