Built in 1885, Masonic House was one of the earliest buildings on the northern side of Customs Street.

Designed by Edward Mahoney, this four-storey warehouse was built in 1885 for tea, coffee, spice and grocery merchant John Buchanan, one of the largest wholesalers in the city. Coffee and spice merchants Brown, Barrett & Co, owned by John McKail Geddes, also occupied the building.

Masonic House shares a facade with the 1897 Buckland Building next door, but can be distinguished from the newer building by its three large ground-floor arches, doorways to the original cart docks.

Heavy debt led Buchanans business to fail in the late 1880s, though Brown, Barrett & Co continued to trade. The Geddes family, who eventually owned three of the warehouses on the block, purchased the lease and owned it until 1945.

 

From coffee and spice to all things nice

The building was occupied by a variety of tenants, including the London Book Shop. It received its current name in 1952, when the Masonic Institute and Club Incorporated purchased the building for $347,500.

In 1973 the building was altered to create an arcade linking Customs Street to Galway Street, containing 11 retail premises.

Today Masonic House has been cleaned out and is leased on an interim basis and will be fully renovated as part of the Britomart redevelopment programme.

Read more about the history of Britomart

 

Find Masonic House 30-32 Customs Street East Britomart Auckland CBD

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