Topic: Charles Major Building 1881 (Princes Street)

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Charles Major Building 

This small building on Princes Street is one of the row of heritage buildings that the writers of the Hawera Town Centre Heritage Inventory have described as being "unsurpassed in Taranaki" and of "national historical importance". 

William Furlong had a building erected on this site about 1881 and it's possible some of the original structure remains. However the elaborate facade was designed by George Card in 1895 after fire damaged much of the building. 

As may be expected for a building of this age, it has had a number of owners. Perhaps the most prominent was Charles Major, who bought the building from Furlong in 1883. Major was a land agent and mayor of Hawera on three separate occasions and MP between 1902-1908 - he also has a street named after him. (linked

Major sold the building to Athol Grant, also a land agent, in 1914. Grant added a verandah to the front of the building (later removed) and owned the building until 1957 when it was sold to Mr E. Black. 

New owners in 2011 undertook sympathetic renovations to the interior. 

Category 2 registration with Heritage New Zealand. (see web link for report)

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Charles Major Building 1881 (Princes Street)