Easily the roaring life of Cashel Mall during the 1980’s; in this new century I struggled to even picture it along Cashel Mall before the quakes stole it away for good. The Shades Arcade.
It was purchased for 5 million dollars in 2009 by a developer who claimed his memories as a kid in the arcade caused him to have a soft spot for the half empty sad central town location.
It was 1861 when 108 Hereford Street first show signs of life. The company of Burnell, Bennett and Sprott opened the Shades Hotel. These fellas appear throughout the papers of the era as auctioneer and merchants and it seems property developers.
The Shades Hotel also features in advertisements as a meeting place. It was there that the formation of The Early Colonists’ Society took place in 1892; a group of old timers who were concerned that the anniversary of the arrival of the First Four Ships had passed by without a thought.
Other advertisements were placed by chef James W. Morten who promised great catering for any function, anywhere, waiters included. The Shades Hotel also faced the courts too, owner Thomas Broadway being fined for serving alcohol to an already intoxicated client.
The Hotel was rebuilt in 1902 and closed for business in 1959. It is unclear what life continued on site there but in 1978, an arcade was built as a walkway from 108 Hereford Street to Cashel Street and named fittingly as The Shades Arcade.
It will be interesting to see if this historic name remains in our city’s future.