Napier Borough Council Building (Former) Napier 2020

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

Please contact us for information about using this material commercially.


Former Napier Borough Council Building, 16 Byron Street, Napier, November 2020
Originally built in 1884 at the corner of Tennyson Street, Herschell Street and Marine Parade, relocated in 2011 to Byron Street
Designed by architect Robert Lamb

Text on signs –

1 –

“Art Gallery

Community Arts Centre



2 –


3 –


This building has been part of the architectural backdrop of Napier since the late 19th century.

In 1884 it began life as Napier’s new Borough Council Chambers on the corner of Tennyson Street and Marine Parade.

It was designed by renowned architect Robert Lamb and was one of the few important buildings he designed that survived the 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake.  While this building suffered no significant damage and escaped the terrible fires that followed, its horizontal movement during the quake was so great that the mayoral portraits hanging on cords in the Council Chamber (now the main gallery) swung out so far they flipped over and ended up facing the walls.

In 1950, when Napier officially became a city, this building was remodelled; its weatherboard cladding covered with stucco and the decorative details removed to give it a more modern appearance.  The Council Chamber was given an Art Deco flourish at its entrance.

Twelve mayors presided over Napier from the mayoral office (now the small gallery) during the many years this building was the centre of council business, until a new Civic Building opened in 1968.  It has had various uses over the years, including the Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery’s education centre.

In 2012 it was shifted to its present site to make way for museum extensions, and in 2014 it was refurbished and adapted to become Creative Napier’s community arts centre.

Robert McGregor  (1940-2015)



Byron Street, Napier

Format of the original

Digital photographs

Date published

November 2020

Author(s) / Creator(s)

  • Christina McRae

Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.