Topic: Currie Street (TDN 01/07/2016)

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Currie Street 

Currie Street is named after Alexander Currie, a well-to-do Londoner who we know little about. He was a director of the New Zealand Company and purchased land in the fledgling colony. He was also a friend of Honiana Te Puni-kokopu, a prominent Te Ati Awa chief, who he gifted a silver trophy in recognition of his loyalty.

The story of the street named after him is better known. The earliest detailed survey dates from the 1890s and even then sections were being subdivided and businesses established. None of the early wooden shops and houses remain, replaced with buildings constructed from the 1920s onwards.

One little-noticed quirk about Currie Street is its different widths either side of Devon Street. Originally the street was the same width as the section from Powderham Street to Devon Street. When the Post Office building was completed in 1959, it was set back further from the street than the buildings adjoining it. Within a few years, those buildings, up to the Devon Street corner, were also demolished. Their replacements were also set back further from the street.

The street also wasn't always as short as it is today. In 1986 the northern end of Currie Street was controversially closed off and built over as part of the Centre City shopping complex.

Currie Street has seen many types of businesses over the years from strip clubs, banks and snooker halls to jewellers, cafes and newspaper publishers. Alexander Currie may almost be forgotten, but because of its central location most people in New Plymouth have reason to be familiar with the street named after him.

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Currie Street (TDN 01/07/2016)

City:New Plymouth