Whakatane & District Historical Society Event

Visit to 16 George Street,Whakatane

On Wednesday 16th August a dozen interested members visited what is now the George Street Linen Warehouse, hosted by the current owner Gregory Davidson.

The first commercial buildings on this site were developed by Thomas, John and Harry Francis, sons of John Francis who had operated a blacksmith’s shop by Pohuturoa (the Rock).  Thomas and John set up in George Street around 1911 as the Blacksmith and Carriage Factory.  Harry set up next door as a carriage painter.

An Art Deco (Spanish Moderne Style) garage – Wheelers Garage –  was built on some of the Lot 6 site in the early 1930s.  Later around 1946 on the southern part of the site the Art Deco style façade was extended for Frank Clarke of CLC Motors.  A small part of the original Francis brother’s factory was retained on the south western corner.

The current owner uses the building as a warehouse for his George Street Linen business.  The building required earthquake strengthening and renovating, this Greg has done over recent years with a very sympathetic approach to the heritage of the building.

After a most interesting chat and a look through the building the group reconvened to The Bean café to share more information and associated historic photos.

Image Courtesy of Te Whare Taonga o Taketake