UBS building's historical significance recognised

An early Dunedin confectionery factory has been recognised for its historical value.

Heritage New Zealand has listed the former Romison's Confectionery Works building in Great King St as a category 2 historic place.

Designed in 1910, the triple-brick building is home to the University Book Shop.

Matt Schmidt
Matt Schmidt
Heritage New Zealand's acting Dunedin area manager Matt Schmidt said the building was built for Russian Jewish emigrant Julius Romison, who arrived in Dunedin during the mid-1880s where he set up businesses.

By 1900, Mr Romison's factory was one of six manufacturing confectioners in Dunedin making fancy confectionery, chocolate and children's lines.

When it outgrew the original premises, he hired Dunedin architect Edmund Anscombe in 1910 to design a purpose-built confectionery works, which was built shortly afterwards, Mr Schmidt said.

By 1928 the factory employed 40 workers.

After Mr Romison's retirement in 1937, the business continued in the city until the 1940s, when it shifted to Oamaru.

Today the business survives as Rainbow Confectionery.

With the financial backing of the Presbyterian Bookroom, the factory building became the University Book Shop in 1962.

Category 2 historic places are deemed to be of historical or cultural significance or value.

The University Book Shop on Great King St. Photo from ODT files.
The University Book Shop on Great King St. Photo from ODT files.


Sounds exciting. But it comes with a near perpetual obligation to keep up maintenance! The value of the land/site just crashed!