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The old Criterion Hotel at the corner of Princes Street and Moray Place is to be removed early in the new year, and for Mr D Haynes, the owner of that fine central site, Messrs Anscombe and Coombs, architects, have prepared plans of a substantial and handsome four-storey building, which will be erected in either brick or concrete.
At the corner of the new construction there will be an imposing dome, which will form quite a landmark, as well as another ornament, in the main thoroughfare of the city. The ground floor will be utilised as shops, and already a jeweller has made arrangements to occupy the corner premises. On the first floor there will be tea-rooms on an extensive scale, which will be run in conjunction with roof gardens on the top of the building. Mr Haynes, who has already given evidence of his enterprising spirit in other large buildings he owns in the same block, is to be commended for his determination to add another very fine edifice to the architecture of the city.
• The popularity of Stewart Island as a summer or Christmas and New Year resort is ever on the increase, and as a consequence of the favourable weather prevailing this season the traffic is expected to be heavier than has ever been the case in previous years. On inquiry at the Harbour Board's offices a representative of the Southland News was informed that the bookings for Christmas Day were phenomenal. Up till 10 o'clock on Monday morning close on 200 applications had been received for tickets, and as a consequence the Harbour Board had arranged for the Theresa Ward to make two trips from Bluff to Halfmoon Bay on the day in question. On Saturday the tug's Halfmoon Bay passenger list showed that 80, including chiefly visitors from the north, had travelled thither in search of pleasure.
• It is satisfactory to note that the effort to collect subscriptions for the Anglican Cathedral fund is meeting with a warm response. Today only about 50 is required to complete the amount that will enable a promised donation of 2000 to be claimed, and bring the total fund up to 20,000, irrespective of the Harrop bequest. It is hoped that before the close of the year the announcement will be made that the full amount has been subscribed, A perspective drawing of the proposed building may be seen in the window of Mr J Braithwaite, in Princes Street. It attracted considerable attention yesterday and elicited many flattering comments.
• A new experience befell Riverton on Tuesday in the shape of a bread famine. It seems that the local demand, in view of the holidays, had been very large, and when to this was added the demand from some hundreds of holiday trippers, the supply simply gave out. Late comers paraded the streets in the evening, visiting all the likely shops in the hope of picking up some of the ''staff of life''. However, bakers, confectioners, and grocers were out of that commodity, and substitutes for bread, such as biscuits, buns and cakes had to be purchased. - ODT, 28.12.1912.