Carlton Hotel, Christchurch

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Carlton Hotel
Carlton Hotel is open.JPG
Carlton Hotel in scaffolding for repairs of 2010 Canterbury earthquake damage, but with significant new damage visible from the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake
General information
Address1 Papanui Road
Town or cityChristchurch
CountryNew Zealand
Coordinates43°31′14″S 172°37′39″E / 43.52060°S 172.62749°E / -43.52060; 172.62749Coordinates: 43°31′14″S 172°37′39″E / 43.52060°S 172.62749°E / -43.52060; 172.62749
Technical details
Floor countthree
Design and construction
ArchitectJoseph Maddison
Designated26 November 1981
Reference no.1841
"Carlton Hotel". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 April 2011.

The Carlton Hotel in Christchurch was an historic pub on the corner of Papanui Road and Bealey Avenue. Built in 1906 for the New Zealand International Exhibition, it was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category II heritage building. The building was damaged in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake and demolished on 9 April 2011.


Papanui Road, linking to Main North Road, was the traditional route for travellers from the north.[1] Cobb and Co travelled north via Victoria Street and Papanui Road, and one of the first tram routes in Christchurch was built along this corridor.[2]

Carlton Hotel with February 2011 Christchurch earthquake damage

The first hotel was built on the site in 1865, only 15 years after the organised settlement of Christchurch began by the Canterbury Association. Ward's Brewery commissioned architect Joseph Maddison to design a new hotel, to be opened in time for the International Exhibition that was held in Christchurch's Hagley Park from November 1906 to April 1907.[2] Maddison also designed the buildings for the International Exhibition, which attracted nearly two million visitors at a time when New Zealand's population was only one million.[3]

The Carlton Hotel was the first place in New Zealand to serve beer on tap in 1939–1940, and it had the country's first beer garden in 1947.[2] It opened New Zealand's first drive through bottle store in 1954.[2] Burger King opened a fast food restaurant in September 1999 and took up much of the ground floor of the building.[4]

Carlton Hotel suffered damage in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, but remained open. It was heavily damaged in the subsequent earthquake on 22 February 2011, when part of the façade facing Papanui Road collapsed. Engineers found that the building was prone to failure in another strong aftershock, and it was demolished on 9 April 2011.[5][6] The building's owner has replaced the building with a modern structure,[7] but the new complex has been criticised as "unsympathetic".[8]

Heritage listing[edit]

Carlton Hotel post demolition

On 26 November 1981, the building was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category II historic place, with the registration number 1841. The building is recognised as an example of Maddison's work, who designed many hotel. It is located on a busy junction and regarded as a landmark. Due to several New Zealand firsts, it is an important part of the country's brewing industry. Its link to the International Exhibition is also of importance.[2]

The building was removed from the register during 2011.[9]


  1. ^ Harper, Margaret. "Christchurch Street Names P to Q" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Carlton Hotel". NZHPT. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  3. ^ "New Zealand International Exhibition 1906". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Pizza sets fast-food pace". The Press. 22 September 1999.
  5. ^ Davis, Joanna (9 April 2011). "Historic hotel for urgent demolition". The Press. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Historic Christchurch hotel is demolished". Radio NZ. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Carlton Hotel to be pulled down tonight". The New Zealand Herald. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  8. ^ Killick, David (8 July 2012). "Out with the cheap, bland, boring". The Press. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Lost heritage 2010–11". New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Retrieved 7 September 2011.