The Normal School, Cranmer Square, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

The Normal School, Cranmer Square, Christchurch [192-?0]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0010.
In Apr. 1873 the Canterbury Board of Education held a design competition for a projected normal school. The winner was S.C. Farr (1827-1918), a Christchurch architect, with a revised Gothic design. When the Normal School was completed in 1874 at a cost of £14,269, the Montreal Street wing measured 145 ft. and the Kilmore Street wing, 244 ft. The builder was Daniel Reese and William Brassington (b. 1840) the carver of the stone details.

In 1878 the Montreal Street wing was extended to provide a kindergarten on the ground floor and a training department on the first floor. The architect of the extension was Thomas Cane (1830-1905). In 1924-1925 the Teachers’ College students moved to a building on the corner of Montreal and Peterborough Streets. In 1954 the Normal School was transferred to Elmwood. The old school became the training centre for the Post-Primary Dept of Christchurch Teachers’ College. In 1970 they moved to Ilam and the building became subject to neglect, vandalism and decay. In Sept. 1981 it was sold to an investment company and between then and 1986 was converted to luxury apartments. The Board Room became a restaurant, Grimsby’s. The building was demolished following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

Learn more about the architecture and history of the Normal School.

Do you have any photographs of the former Normal School building?  If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.