Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Business in Rotorua : A spotlight on Tutanekai Street

Businesses of Tutanekai Street 

Tutanekai Street named after the famous Te Arawa Chief who fell in love with Hinemoa highborn chieftainess of Owhata.

When the Rotorua Town was formally laid out, Tutanekai Street began with Hotels and Guest Houses as the main businesses, Steele's timber yard, C.A.C. Clarke's Cordial Factory and little else as Arawa Street was the focus of the CBD at that time.

Many of the buildings we see today on Tutanekai Street were built in the late 1920's to 1930's such as Graeff's Building, Woolliams Building, Musgrave's Building, Inverness Building, French's Building (demolished 2016), Jubilee Building, Harris & Co Building, Central Chambers, Mokoia Buildings and the Rotorua Buildings.

Photograph by Faeryl Rotherham,
Other photographs of building facades can be seen on Kete Rotorua

Hotels and Guest Houses of Tutanekai Street
Tarawera House c.1891
Windsor House c1898
The Palace Hotel (moved to Tutanekai from Lake Road) c.1899
The Waiwera built 1903
The Australia built c.1900
Thirwell House c. 1901
The Empire built c.1907
The Waverley c.1917

Postcard from the Dave Fuller Collection

Rotorua's 1st Assembly Hall was built by the Steele Bros. who owned a large Timber Yard on the corner of Eruera and Tutanekai Streets in 1899. This was to continue as Royal Pictures,  King's Theatre and later the Majestic Ballroom. Dismantled in the 1930's to make way for McKenzies Department Store.

Published in the Daily Post, City Celebration Issue, January 1963

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