Kings Chambers

kings chamber1In 1919 the dentist, Robert Grummitt, commissioned local architect, Henry Monk Helm, to design this building to serve as dental chambers and professional offices. Grummitt named his new building “Kings Chambers”. This may have been a reference to King George V but is more likely to commemorate Whanganui’s first postmaster, Samuel King, and his schoolteacher sister, Maria, after whom Maria Place is named.

Kings Chambers was built by JW Alderton at a cost of £3,963 and was completed in May 1920 when Grummitt announced in the Whanganui Chronicle that he was moving to his new rooms. Ground floor rooms were occupied by the accountant, Roderick Robson, and James Reynolds, a tailor, while other offices were occupied by local sharebroker, Clement Swan.

The building continued to serve as dental chambers until the 1950s, Walter Hodder having taken over Grummitt’s practice in the 1930s. The Western Building Society and Dominion Life Assurance both had offices here for a while before Commercial Union Insurance moved in and changed the name of the building to Commercial Union House in the early 1970s.

In the mid-1980s the building took on a totally different use when it became a massage parlour and was known as Club 28. Today the building houses Cleopatra’s beauty salon.

Maria Place 28
Whanganui 4500 Manawatu-Wanganui NZ
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