May 10, 2008

Avebury, Richmond, 1972

Designed by James Glanville (1841-1913), a builder of St Asaph Street, who doubled as an architect, Avebury was built in 1885 for James Flesher, O.B.E. (1865-1930), a Solicitor and Mayor of Christchurch 1923-25.

Originally standing on twenty five acres, after Flesher’s death it passed to his son Herbert, who sold the house and eight acres to the Crown in 1945. Six years later the house and land were acquired by the Christchurch City Council for recreational use.

The house became the Cora Wilding Youth Hostel in 1965 and the land was established as Avebury Park. In 1997 the hostel closed and Avebury faced demolition.

Restoration began in 2000 and two years later Prime Minister Helen Clark opened the rejuvenated building as the Avebury House Community Centre.

In 1899 James Glanville designed the extant, but now relocated, Leinster House for Andrew Fuller Carey (1863-1937), a partner in the Drapery of Tonycliffe and Carey at the northeast corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets. 

Originally situated on the corner of Papanui and Leinster Roads at Merivale, Leinster House bears a strong resemblance to Glanville's earlier dwelling for James Flesher.

Also in James Glanville's American influenced architectural style were a pair of houses on the eastern side of Latimer Square, between Worcester and Gloucester Streets. Demolished between 1973 and 1990, the sites of these large dwellings are occupied in 2008 by townhouses and an extension to the Latimer Lodge Motel.

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