Flashback – The Crescent

Today we continue the history of the former “Crescent Hotel” which I featured last week. Stock & Station agents Wright Stephenson & Co. Ltd would become a well remembered occupant of the former hotel building (the grey building in centre of this image taken around 1956), with their name now emblazoned on the entablature, until 1972 when amalgamated with the National Mortgage & Agency Co. Ltd. to form Wrightson NMA.

Most likely in the 1940’s, the building facade had however been stripped back leaving nothing but a plain ugly frontage as you see here, being of exceedingly dubious architectural merit. This “stripping” was no doubt undertaken to project a “modern” streamlined image for the time, many heritage buildings suffering the same fate, some being relatively successful and some not.

Some time after 1972 and after the staff had vacated the premises the majority of the old building was demolished leaving only the lower level of the street facade while the open rear facing Wood street was converted into a paid car park.

This was a sad end to a once imposing building which had formed part of the elegant grand sweep that originally comprised The Crescent as a whole. A modern office building, being at No 15 The Crescent, now occupies this site but at only one and a bit stories lacks the street presence of the former multi story building and is in fact the only single story building in the block so the post 1972 “gap” has never really ever been adequately filled.

Photo Credit Mr William Dykes.
Story by Donald from Historical Southland in Colour Republished by arrangement.

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