Hooper contributed a number of commercial buildings to Dunedin, few of which have survived. The first of these was an extension and new wool store for the National Mortgage Agency. In 1906 Hooper was commissioned to arrange carpentry and painting repairs to a building in Maclaggan Street and in 1908 he supervised a warehouse building in Moray Place for Robert Malcolm Limited which is still standing. Hooper designed a stable and shed in South Dunedin for T. Smith in 1910. In 1913, 1917 and 1919 Hooper designed additions to buildings at Burnside for Otago Tallow/By-Products Co. which included a new brick chimney. In 1918 Hooper was commissioned by the Shaw Savill and Albion Company to design a wool store at Port Chalmers. This building is now demolished but stood where the log loading wharf is now. All of the commercial buildings mentioned above have either been removed or their exact location lost.
Hooper’s move to Auckland in 1923 opened up a new phase in his career which saw a number of mid-sized commercial buildings and offices designed in partnership with J. W. Rough. This work was curtailed by the depression but surprisingly a number of Hooper’s Auckland buildings stand in good condition.
The wool store commissioned by the National Mortgage and Agency Company of New Zealand Ltd. was tendered for on 4th July 1905. The commission consisted of alterations to an existing store and a creation of a new store. The store stands in modified form. shorn of its ornamental cornice and parapet.
This private hospital was Hooper’s most ambitious commission to date. The building was much enlarged over two main stages and plans exist for major extensions in 1912 and 1917. Though the client name on the plans is that of Nurse Thomson, there is speculation that Dr Williams, a previous client of Hooper, was behind the commission.
Plans for this modest corner shop were recently found in the DCC Archives and David Murray wrote about Quick’s store in his Built in Dunedin blog in 2014. The building was demolished in the 1960s and the site is now occupied by the VTNZ testing station. The presence of the shop reminds us of the mixed commercial and residential character of the inner city.
Until 2000 the George Street Ironmongery retained its brickwork and Oamaru limestone facings but now the building appears as shown above. Hooper’s design is unique in its block, being the only steep-gabled and Marseilles-tiled shop in Dunedin’s main commercial street. It is a visible reminder of its mixed commercial and residential character that persists to the present day.
Thomas Smith commissioned Hooper to design this new shop because his existing shop was in the way of the widening of King Edward Street by the Dunedin City Corporation, as it was then known. Mr Smith brought a civil action against the Corporation because of the works. Here, Hooper uses a strong Queen Ann style with characteristic banded brickwork and bay windows. The corner turret has lost its cap and the contrasting effect of the hammered brick and plaster is obscured by a heavy coat of paint. Only the original exterior remains as the interior was completely gutted for renovations early in the building’s life.
Hooper was also commissioned by Thomas Smith to design shops in central Dunedin. He passed the design to his friend to Newton Vanes, perhaps because he was particularly busy at the time. This multi-use building incorporates commercial spaces, both office and shop, and a large hall. In addition to the building itself, Hooper designed the shop fronts to include beautiful verandahs supported by embellished pillars.
The Otago Cooperative Tallow and By-products Company works were located at 10 McLeod’s Rd, Burnside and are currently used for the collection and disposal of green waste. A comparison between the buildings currently at the site, and those in the DCC aerial photographs from 1946, indicates that the site has remained intact since at least that time, and that all of Hoopers buildings for the company may still be standing.
Hooper’s first designs were in 1912, for three buildings. Additions and alterations followed in 1913, 1917 and 1919. Those in 1917 were for a lovely square section brick chimney which is still in place today.
The Company was owned by a cooperative of Dunedin butchers and the buildings were required because an enormous fire, on the night of Monday 5 October 1908, had destroyed the previous factory buildings. The newspapers at the time reported that the glow in the sky from the fire was visible in down-town Dunedin.The premises were sold to McLeod Brothers (soap makers) in 1925.
While these factory buildings are not as glamorous as Hooper’s houses, they are elegant and nicely proportioned and are deserving of our interest and admiration.
Bank of New South Wales, Princes Street, 1913.
In 1913 Hooper designed alteration and carried out repairs and redecoration of the Bank of NSW on Princes Street Dunedin. The building has since been mostly demolished.
Shops and Offices, Corner of Princes and Jervois, 1916.
In 1916 Hooper designed new shops and offices on the corner of Princes and Jervois Streets. The address is now a Salvation Army Family Store and it is possible that the buiding is still Hooper’s design, only heavily altered.
Originally designed to accommodate ‘Shaw’s Utility Cottages’, makers of pre-cut buildings, this building maintained its links to the building trade for many years. Today the factory has changed hands and is now home to a bacon sandwich shop that serves workers in the waterfront industrial area.
Hooper’s career in Auckland saw him extend his practice to modern commercial buildings. One of a number of commissions by Hooper in central Auckland, the Flying Angel Mission to Seaman office was part of the newly developed area around Emily Place and Anzac Crescent. The Seamen’s building is on the right behind the palms.
Described as a ‘model factory and warehouse’ for Ambler and Co., this project solidified Hooper’s expansion into modern commercial building. The building later housed the Summit shirt factory and looks much the same today. Although the Summit building has not changed greatly, other buildings have sprung high up around it.
Hooper’s confident shift from Art and Crafts to the Georgian revival of the early 1920s is clear in this small commercial building for the Alliance Assurance Co. in O’Connell St below Albert Park in central Auckland. The building largely remains in its original condition, with only the upstairs suite of rooms having been remodelled.
The Pembridge flats were carried out with Hooper’s Auckland partner J. W. Rough whose debts incurred during litigation taken against him by the client placed the firm in crisis. This image was taken in the 1980s when the exterior of the building was being roughcast. The Fletcher Trust Series #: 6218P
Hooper’s thoroughly modern neo-Georgian addition to William Gummer’s earlier hostel for the Auckland branch of the YWCA overlooked the newly landscaped Myers Park that runs alongside busy Queen St. It was a popular place for single women to stay when visiting the city. The netting for the rooftop gymnasium can be seen clearly. Sadly, the YWCA complex was demolished in 1985.
One of Hooper’s larger commercial jobs in Auckland, this building included an engineering shop and an automotive parts warehouse and showroom. As well as serving the trade, Motor Specs was where keen car enthusiasts would buy what they needed for their weekend projects.