Hall grows into music venue
By CAROLYN VEEN
The old Red Cross hall in Tennyson St, designed by renowned architect Guy Natusch in the 1950s, is soon to become a concert venue for local and touring musicians.
The 60-year-old building has been home to the Photographers Gallery and Cafe since 2010, and the owners want to expand their business to include live music.
Shayne and Cath Jeffares said they “fell in love with the building” three years ago and they have steadily turned it into an eclectic gathering place.
“The hall, built as headquarters for Red Cross in the 1950s was also a venue used and enjoyed by the wider Napier community. It is understood that the building was built with funds left over after the rebuild post-quake,” Mr Jeffares said.
“So many people have great memories of wedding receptions, parties and concerts held here; it truly holds a special place in so many hearts.
“We are really excited to now open it up after-hours to musicians looking for a special venue to play at, and for our community to enjoy what this awesome building has to offer.”
The building is showcased in the book Long Live the Modern – New Zealand’s New Architecture 1904-1984, which examined how international design ideas were adapted to New Zealand.
Said to “epitomise the best of post-war modernist architecture” the superbly preserved building has a distinctive frontage and is in two parts.
There is a smaller space built to the street with a canopy out over the footpath and the hall/gallery area set back from the street.
Its facade comprises a regular grid of deeply recessed square windows with the dark-maroon ceramic tiles contrasted against white painted brick.
The ﬁrst curtain goes up on Saturday at the Photographers Gallery and Cafe in Tennyson St, Napier, with Melody Inc to perform a tribute to the Andrews Sisters from 5pm till 6.15pm. Tickets cost $20 and include a glass of wine on entry.
At 8pm the same night, for $10, up-and-coming folk/country duo Joseph Thompson and Maia Potier will play at the gallery.
Photo caption – Stlll servlng: A historic photo of the Red Cross building, opened in 1952.