Spanish Mission & Stripped Classical

Hastings City houses a collection of Art Deco buildings however it’s most noted buildings were built in the Spanish Mission style.

The Spanish Mission style came from California, USA where Spanish missionaries had created an indigenous, adobe version of their native Spanish architecture (baroque or renaissance), In the 1920s and 1930s this style spread to New World countries like Australia and New Zealand. Fine Hastings examples of this architecture include the Methodist Church, which was the only church constructed in Hawke’s Bay after the earthquake in a contemporary style. Across from the Methodist Church is the Hawke’s Bay Opera House designed by Henri Eli White in 1915. The façade is a richly ornamented, baroque interpretation of the Spanish Mission style. Also not to be missed is the old Dominion Restaurant in Heretaunga Street. This is the only shop front remaining which features an asymmetrical layout fashionable in the mid 1930s.

The Westermans building, opposite the Hastings Clock Tower in the inner city is not to be missed. It is Spanish Mission from its renaissance phase with rich wall classical details. The building is hard to miss as it now houses the Hastings i-SITE Visitor Centre. While at the information centre, pick up the Heritage of Hastings brochure, which provides a map of the many Spanish Mission and Art Deco buildings.