Topic: Caplen Building 1882 (Princes Street)

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Caplen Building 1882 

The Caplen Building (also known as Caplen's Buildings) stands in the centre of the photograph above, between Charles Major's offices on the left and the Edmondston Building on the right. Together with the the two bank buildings nearby they are described in the Hawera Town Centre Heritage Inventory as being part of a sequence of heritage buildings "unsurpassed in Taranaki and which has national importance."

The heritage inventory states that the building was erected in 1882 for the Mr Harry Caplen, a Hāwera lawyer who was only admitted to the bar that same year after previously working in other fields. The building is thought to be the first in Hāwera to be constructed in brick, the work being done by Mr Whittington. It was designed by the architect Mr C.J. Brodrick and built by Mr E.A. Pacey. 

The exterior remains relatively intact since it was built while some interior alterations were carried out by Hāwera architect, Clive Cullen, in 1989.  

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