Daily Archives: July 21, 2011

Is this NZs oldest commercial building?

Nelson just keeps on surprising.

Finally got around to getting my divers watch batteries replaced and the unit pressure tested. I took the watch to a local jeweler to do so.

The building that houses his operation though, well its got a story of its own.

According to “The Prow(Nelsons regional archive of many things historical) it turns out that the shop at 29 Bridge Street was originally build circa 1855. The Prow notes;

At 29 Bridge street is a small commercial building dating back to c1855, whose frontage is in its roughly original shape. It is believed to be the oldest commercial building in the central business district of Nelson, possibly the oldest commercial building still extant in NZ, and has a Historic Places Trust category B listing.

Even if you don’t get a chance to read the whole story on 29 Bridge St, something Nelsonians may not have been aware of is this;

A fisherman’s jetty once sat at the back of the building in Whakatu Square and would have been used until reclamation in the 1890’s stopped boats having easy access into the Paruparu Estuary  or Tideway as it was known by settlers. Until then spring tides were especially good for larger vessels, while smaller flat-bottomed canoes and barges could proceed even further into the large tidal estuary.

One would suspect that being one of the first settlements in New Zealand, examples like are scattered around the region and The Prow does a very good job of highlighting and explaining them.

Surprising though that when I looked for a streetview pic, turns out most of Nelson central and The Wood haven’t been covered by the camera car yet?

Data – The Prow website