Whitcoulls Building (John Courts)

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204 Queen Street.

This prominent corner site lent itself to a grand architectural style. Designed by architect John Currie in 1899 for the Direct Supply Company, the first three stories are in the Victorian Italianate style. Internally the building retains its timber columns and floor structure. In 1910 John Court opened his department store in the building and in 1916 added three stories in the same style. The department store of five floors offered merchandise for every household requirement. After a shopping expedition to the city the family could relax in the roof-garden tearooms and be entertained by an orchestra. A memorial lamp to John Court, who died in 1933, still stands on the roof.

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