James Smith is a famous name in Wellington retailing. Smith, an early settler, bought Te Aro House, a shop on the corner of Cuba and Dixon Streets, in 1866. He built up a prosperous drapery business and expanded into general retailing.
This building was constructed in 1907, but within 25 years the ﬁrm decided to modernise the appearance of the building and the vogue style was Art Deco. King and Dawson designed the facade in 1932.
Just down Manners Street is a 1934 addition to the building, designed by the same architects. The store added two more additions further along Cuba Street in the 1960s. It closed in 1993 and is now a retail centre.
Image reference: Alexander Turnbull Library C301831/2