CUSTOMHOUSE Quay, Wellington - 1866
the following taken from NZETC was written about 1918
... Customhouse Quay. The first sale of sections in this street was advertised for the 14th May, 1858; 25 sections, with frontages to Willis Street, Harbour Street, Customhouse Quay, and the site of the Bank of New Zealand corner.
The total frontage was 844ft., at about 6 10s. per foot frontage. The corner section, Customhouse Quay, 15, the Bank of New Zealand, was fixed at 8, totalling 9,712. None of the Customhouse Quay sections, nor the corner, were sold; so were offered again on the 1st September, 1858, and yet again on the 5th March, 1862.
The above information was extracted from Mr. Herbert Baillie's valuable pamphlet on the Early Reclamations and Harbour Works of Wellington, p. 7, and from the Cyclopedia of N.Z., Vol. 1, p. 292, from which fuller details may be obtained.
Some of the names of the business firms which appear in the Wellington Directory for 1866 are as follows:
* The London Coffee House,
* W. Whitten,
* W. Krull,
* A. A. Barnett,
* and the Queen's Bond.
Briscoe's map, 1867, shows the proposed reclamation for the approach to the Queen's Wharf, and the sites for the Bank of Australasia and the Pier Hotel.
* R. G. Knight, tent maker (arrived in the s.s. Rangitoto) established his business in 1867.
Mr. W. T. L. Travers placed on record four photographs of Customhouse Quay, which are now historical, viz., No. 1, Plimmer's Wharf, about 1874, showing Compton's timber wharf at the back of it, and between the two wharves may be seen the old boilers of the s.s. Rangatira, which, when worn out, were thrown overboard in shallow water, in the free and easy manner of those times. (Evening Post, Xmas No., 1904, p. 25). The N.Z. Steam Navigation Company's building, a part of Boulcott Street, and the old Wesleyan Church are seen in the distance. The second photo shows the Quay and watermen's steps, about 1874, the Bank of Australasia, and the Pier Hotel. The Queen's Bond stands on piles lapped by the waters beneath the building. The N.Z. Express Company's building stands (1904) where the array of boats may be seen on the steps. No. 3 picture is on page 26 of the same issue of the Post, and shows the Quay looking northward from the steps, showing, besides the Pier Hotel, the Post Office, the Provincial Buildings (site of Government Life Insurance and now a part of the interor of the building), and Mills' (Cable's in 1904) Lion Foundry in the distance. The third picture shows the Quay and Hunter Street; the Noah's Ark, with McIntyre, the ship chandler's name fronting the gable end of the shingled roof; the building at the corner, the Tribune newspaper office, of Mr. W. Hutchison; the old Supreme Court, Lambton Quay; and Mr. Ebenezer Baker's office may be seen in the background. While above it (along Hunter Street) may be seen the residence of Mr. Hoggard, embowered in trees. The A.M.P. Buildings, etc., are at the right of the picture.
Looking at the map of 1926, the principal buildings shown are the Bank of New Zealand, National Mutual. A.M.P., G.P.O., Government Life, Life, Union Steam Ship Company, Commercial and Dominion Line, on the west side; while on the east side are the Customs Offices, Wharves, Bank of Australasia, N.Z. Carrying Company, and King's Chambers.