Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Girls' High School later the School of Art

Architect - Thomas Cane
Builder - Daniel Reese

The Star, Issue 2620, 17 August 1876, Page 3

A special meeting of tho Board of Governors was held in the Public Library yesterday afternoon; present — His Lordship the Bishop (in the chair), Ven. Archdeacon Willock, Revs Chas. Fraser, and W. J. Habens, and Messrs (J. V. Colborne) Veel, Potts, (J. N.) Tosswill, (H. J.) Tancred, Hamilton, Webb, (J. W.) Fereday, and Dr Turnbull.

The following report of tho Committee was brought up and read by the Secretary :— " The Committee report receipt of telegrams from Mr Montgomery, stating that £2000 had been granted for the Girls' High School in addition to the former grant of £3000. A Sub-committee has been appointed to confer with the Provincial Architect, and arrange for new plans to harmonise with the College building.

Rev. W. J . Habens was a Congregational Minister .

The Star, Issue 2868, 12 June 1877, Page 3
It has long been felt that a class of education was required for girls in Canterbury that could only be obtained by the establishment of a Girls' High School such as that which at present exists in Dunedin, and the Board of Governors acted wisely in carrying out the opinions hold by them upon this subject. The building has now made satisfactory progress towards completion, an event which will probably take place in about two months.

above: The first Girl's High School building
The first school designed by Thomas Cane proved too small, so in 1879 William B. Armson drew up plans for a new school in Cranmer Square which opened in 1881. From 1882 it was the Canterbury College School of Art until 1957 when it become the first University Department to move to Ilam.

A few particulars, therefore, about the school at the present time may not be uninteresting. The building is designed in the style prevalent in France and England in the middle of the thirteenth century. The walls are built upon concrete foundations carried deep into the ground, as the site was found to be loose and treacherous. There is also in the basement a vault, formed to receive the boiler for heating the apparatus that will be used to keep the place warm in the winter time, particularly the class-rooms. The corridors and staircase are intended to be warmed by hot water in wrought iron high-pressure pipes. The other rooms, namely, the lady principal's and the professors' rooms, will have open fireplaces, as well as the apartments allotted to the custodians. Very great attention has been paid to the system of ventilation, which it is considered will be thorough and effectual. The walls are built of rubble stone from Tait's quarries, similar to that used in the construction of the Museum and College buildings. The dressings are of white stone obtained from the quarries of Mr D. Reese, at the Ram Paddock, Waipara. The stone is very dense, and of beautiful texture, allowing of the most delicate moulding and carving, and from the analysis furnished by Professor Bickerton, it is hoped it will be as lasting in future time as it is plentiful in the present. The entrance porch will be entirely of stone, with arched ceiling and elaborately wrought cornice, pinnacles, and arcaded parapet. The roofs will be crowned by a light spirelet of elegant design, and the ridge of the roofs will be surmounted by elaborate light iron foliated and traceried creating.

above: the School of Art with the 1893 addition to the left.and the Biological Laboratory to the right.

It is expected that the entire building will be finished and ready for occupation by the beginning of September, and seeing how well it is progressing there is every reason to believe that this desire will be accomplished. The site chosen is especially favourable to a well arranged building, and when the ultimate extensions are carried out, which will doubtless be required, this new school will certainly be one of the most striking of the many handsome buildings in the province of Canterbury, both for the picturesqueness of its arrangement and the delicate execution of its details, which have had the unremitting personal attention of the architect, Mr Thomas Cane. The builder is Mr Daniel Reese, and the Clerk of Works, Mr W. J. Drowett.

Proceeding now to give a few detail as to the size of the various rooms, &c, we will begin with the basement and the ground floor. The concrete footings and the foundations are three feet wide, and average 6ft deep from the ground line. The furnace-room is 9ft by 6ft 6in inside in the clear, and is 6ft high. This room goes to a depth of 9ft 3in under the ground line, and has concrete walls 2ft thick. The rubble walls to the bed of the base-course, are 2ft thick; above the base to the under side of the first floor joists they are 1ft 9in thick, and thence to the roof-plate they are 1ft 6in thick. On the ground floor are two class-rooms facing Antigua street, each in the clear 28ft by 22ft, and 14ft high from floor to ceiling. The hall is 10ft wide and 11ft high. The caretaker's room and the kitchen are each 13ft 6in by 10ft, while the Lady Principal's room is 13ft 6in by 13ft. The cloak room is 9ft by 6ft 6in.

above: Canterbury College and School of Art, Christchurch, NZ

All these rooms have a height of 11ft. The staircase is 4ft wide in the clear, and the porch 14ft by 6ft, floored with Minton's tiles, the ceiling above being white stone, arched. The walls of the porch are 1ft 6in thick. The windows looking from the class-rooms into Antigua street, from the bed of the sill to the top of the arch, are 10ft 6in by 7ft to the outside jambs, and are mullioned and transomed. The windows fronting Hereford Street are also mullioned, and are 8ft by 6ft.

The entire length of the building as it faces Antigua street is 57ft 3in, while the frontage to Hereford street is 56ft 6in. On the first floor there are two more class-rooms facing Antigua street, each 28ft 3in by 22ft 3in, and one fronting on Hereford street, 24ft 3in by 20ft 9in. There is also a professor's room, 14ft by 12ft 6in, and a cloak room, 14ft by 7ft 6in. All these rooms are very lofty, being 15 ft in the clear from floor to ceiling. The hall upstairs like the one below, is very spacious, being 10ft wide. The windows giving light to the upper part of the building are 11ft 6in high, by 6ft 6in in width. They are of the circular mullion order, with carved caps, and a traceried opening over. The entire height of the school from the ground line to the ridge is 43ft, the roof having a cresting 1ft 4in high. There is a turret which is 7ft in diameter at the intersection of the roofs, and 4ft 6in at the base of the columns. The height from the ridge to the top of the finial of the turret is 30ft, the total height of which is, from the ground line, 73ft. The contractor is deserving of great credit for the manner in which he is pushing the work forward; while to Mr Cane, the Architect, every praise is due for his very fine design, and the great attention he is paying to the building in order to ensure its being carried out correctly in every detail.

above: The second Girls' High School in Cranmer Square.
(Fifty Years' Progress in Canterbury 15 December 1900 page 52)

Thomas Cane was born in Brighton, Sussex in 1830 and died in Christchurch on the 16th March 1905.
Other work includes:
1876 - Lyttelton Time Ball Tower. Builders Messrs Brassington and Kennington.

1877 - Re-building portions of the Printing Office of the Lyttelton Times and alterations to portion of the remaining building.
1877 - new school at the Scotsburn district.
Junitor's house at Timaru Public School.
1877 - Rangitata Island School.
1877 - Schoolmaster's house at Timaru.
1878 - Master's House and dormitories at Christ's College.
1878 - the nave of the Winchester Church - in wood..
1878 - School and Master's house etc at Hunter, Upper Makikihi
1878 - Temuka Parsonage.
1882 - Caversham Hotel, corner of Madras Street and Ferry Road - French Renaissance.
1888 - Ice Rink for Mr. R. H. Donnolly with frontages on Armagh and Gloucester Streets. Opposite the Treatre Royal. Contractor Mr Dan Reese.
1900 - St Martin's Church at Duntroon - Gothic

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