OCCUPIED BY A MERCHANT’S WAREHOUSE AND SHOP, THIS BUILDING WAS GREETED WITH GLOWING REVIEWS WHEN IT OPENED IN 1904.
Designed by architects Mitchell and Watt for Irish immigrant Andrew Jack Entrican, Australis House was originally known the Entrican Building. An opening review in The New Zealand Graphic described it as a ‘splendid new premises’.
The magazine lavished praise on ‘the brilliantly lighted and beautifully decorated ground floor, office and show room’ and the ‘air of spaciousness, convenience and general effect [that] is not… excelled or equalled in the colony’.
Messrs A. J. Entrican & Company Merchants and Importing Agents stocked a wide range of products, including preserves, candles, coffee and pharmaceuticals. Vermin-proof storage was provided in the upper floors, and butter and cheese were packed for export in the basement.
Gifts past and present
Andrew and his brother James subsequently contributed to a developing Auckland by taking prominent roles in local government. Andrew Entrican went on to serve as Auckland’s deputy mayor for 21 years.
The building itself was taken over by new lessees in 1970, and the name changed to Australis House. The interior was refurbished to accommodate offices and a sixth floor added.
Today the building has been cleaned out and the ground floor is being used on an interim basis as venues for hire. It will be fully renovated as part of the Britomart redevelopment programme.
IN THIS BUILDING
Find Australis House
36-38 Customs Street East