Fenton Arts Collective
Fenton Arts Collective
Egmont Chambers in Stratford, has been recognised on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero as Category 2 historic places.
Egmont Chambers, was built in 1920, it is a physical testament to a period of growth in Stratford’s development as a provincial centre. Heritage New Zealand Senior Heritage Assessment Advisor Blyss Wagstaff says the building, signifies the town’s maturation, transitioning from wooden to permanant brick, concrete and steel structures in the inter-war years.
“This phase of development has defined the character of Stratford’s central business district,” says Blyss. “The building has architectural significance as an enduring–and elegant–example of the Stripped Classical style, with a clear design connection to Stratford architect John D. Healy’s other work in the town centre.”
Healy’s legacy of stylistically-related business premises along Broadway and surrounding streets demonstrates the significant impact he had on Stratford’s built landscape.
In 2016, Stuart Greenhill and Jo Stallard, successfully enacted their vision of restoring a heritage building. “ Saving it from further neglect or worse demolition was the prime objective.” says Stuart. “Investing in our heritage is a physical, economic and social investment.”
“Stuart and Jo’s achievements in revitalising the fortunes of this building are inspirational,” says Blyss. “The Fenton Street Art Collective is full of creative character and a really positive development in Stratford.”
“We have many people visiting just to experience the building,” says Jo. “Gin, Art Gallery and Coffee are a bonus.”
67% of the country's Local Councils support incentives to encourage the preservation of local heritage and cultural significant buildings. Sadly, in March 2020, Stratford Council voted to remove the last incentive to encourage landlords to upgrade their buildings.
''We each have a responsibility to think about the wellbeing of future generations.” Says Stuart. ''These buildings define our place in our social history. To identify with that legacy creates pride in ourselves and our community.''
Thompson, O’Neil and Clifford Limited Building, Former Municipal Chambers and Malone Memorial Arch and Gates are the only other buildings / structures on the heritage list in Stratford.
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Long chapter - Taranaki man publishes novel, 16 years after starting it
A former Taranaki school teacher has published his first book – 16 years after he started writing it. Stuart Greenhill, who owns Stratford’s Fenton St Collective art gallery, cafe and gin distillery with his partner, Jo Stallard, published the novel Dante Fog this month. Read more...
Inside a home-turned-gallery café: A nomadic couple return to Stratford and launch the Fenton Street Arts Collective