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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Building Petone Homes.

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Though bricks and mortar do not make a city, they are a symbol of the confidence reposed in a city by its citizens, and a sign of a progressive spirit. To this confidence and spirit of progress, Messrs. Nicholls and Pearce have contributed in Petone very materially.
The members of the firm, Mr. H. C. Nicholls and Mr. G. C. Pearce, have been in business in Petone for a long period, and several years ago entered into partnership and have since then been responsible for the erection of some of the most important buildings in the Hutt Valley. Some few years ago, the Petone Borough Council undertook the important work of widening Jackson Street. This involved the setting back of the buildings and the modernisation of the shops and their fronts. A very considerable portion of this work was carried out, with credit, by Messrs. Nicholls and Pearce. On completion of this work, Lower Hutt undertook a somewhat similar scheme in High Street, and again the whole of the first part of this scheme was carried out by this firm.
Quite a number of the more modern of Petone's buildings are to the credit of the firm, notably the gymnasium and general quarters of the Hutt Valley Y.M.C.A. in Cuba Street, the handsome hall and canteen of Messrs. Lever Bros., Ltd., Jackson Street, and, more recently, the remodelling of the Chapman buildings, Jackson Street; the front of which has been completely modernised. The most important recent work of the firm is the £10,000 contract for building on the recreation ground a modern reinforced concrete grandstand, a picture of which in an uncompleted state appears at the head of this article. Another Hutt Valley contract being carried out at the present time, is the construction of a group of cabins for the motor camp at the Hutt Park. Outside the Hutt Valley, the firm has also carried out several big contracts, and is at present constructing a large group of flats in Wellington.
The firm has gradually built up a large plant, and has the necessary staff (most of whom are Petone residents) to carry out the largest of undertakings.
The firm, by its initiative and progressiveness, has been a material factor in the progress of the borough and it hopes in the coming years to be of still greater service to the community.

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