The Tea House
Built in 1903 The Riccarton Tea House is a distinctive building, there is no other like it in Australasia.
Constructed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Canterbury Jockey Club, the Tea House was erected as a place for women to enjoy racedays. This was 10 years after women were given the right to vote in New Zealand but females were still not allowed in the Stewards Stand at the time.
In the 1940s the Tea House became a dormitory for soldiers departing for WWII. In 1945 it was turned in to a makeshift hospital during the flu epidemic. Later in the 1950's and 60's the Tea House with its sprung wooden floor, became a popular dance hall as well as party and wedding venue.
At some stage in the 1960's the verandas were enclosed and the glazed doors removed to provide more internal space. This had a major impact on the buildings appearance.
In the 1970's the once stunning timber floor was also removed and replaced with concrete
After that period, the once bustling Tea House became a quiet place. For more than 30 years the building sat and deteriorated. Despite the extensive deterioration the foundation and the structure of the Tea House were sound.
With the help of Community Trusts, passionate & skilled people, reconstruction and restoration began in 2006. Care was taken to ensure best trade practice was used and that all visible new work matched the original.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes Restoration of the Tea House in all its former glory was completed in October 2008 with its official opening on the 3rd of December 2008
Excerpts from the book-The Riccarton Tea House
For a copy of this beautiful book complete with before and after photos, Contact Alison 03 3360040 or e-mail email@example.com