Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The City Boot Palace, Shoe Store, Christchurch, circa 1900

The City Boot Palace, 1910. Photo Steffano Webb. Alexander Turnbull Library

You can almost smell the leather in this store interior of the City Boot Palace located at 111 Colombo Street at the corner of Lichfield St.

A cut-price seller of boots and shoes, the City Boot Palace pitched its sales to the buyer of Half Guinea boots during the first decade of the twentieth century.

Christchurch Star ad, 11 September 1907.

An identically named City Boot Palace was trading in Dunedin at 75 George Street - at the corner of George & St Andrew Streets - from 1883. In the early 1900s, that store was owned by Joseph McKay while the City Palace in Christchurch was operated by a Mr Stock as seen in the above ad. Whether the stores operated as part of a chain under common ownership or were independently owned is yet to be established.

Somewhat disturbingly, Kuaka recalls an uncle working in the mid 1960s at a similar-looking shoe store located, from memory, in Cashel Street that had similar furnishings down to the detail of the footstools. The merchandise, however, had turned over thanks to demand and the dictates of fashion.

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