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Teasey’s Garage

Est. 1932.  Built in the Art Deco style for motor engineer Harry Joseph Teasey. Beneath the stepped parapet a smooth plastered façade has a higher central portion with a rectangular window. The cantilevered street verandah hangs from six wrought iron ties and has diamond patterned pressed metal cladding to the underside. At street level remain the columns that framed the large entrance to the garage where petrol pumps used to sit. 

Map No. 59.
Ngā Tapuwae ki Te Papa |
Footprints on Te Papa.

Current tenants:
Tauranga Art Gallery Pop-up Gallery


TEASEY’S GARAGE (EST. 1932)

Teasey's garage, still relevant today.  In July 2023 Tauranga Art Gallery installed its Pop-up gallery and education space:  read about this here:

Teasey's Garage 2023 is Tauranga Art Gallery's pop-up Art Gallery. Image Credit CR Brown

HISTORY of Teasey's Garage
by Debbie McCauley.

c.1945 Teasey's Garage. Image credit Tauranga City Libraries

Teasey’s Garage is a single level reinforced concrete garage built in the Art Deco style for motor engineer Harry Joseph Teasey (1903- 1999), grandson of Tauranga boat-builder Capt. Joseph Denham Brain (1841-1924) and eldest son of William Teasey (1871 - 1950) and Ada Teasey - nee Brain (1974 - 1950). Beneath the stepped parapet a smooth plastered façade has a higher central portion with a rectangular window. The cantilevered street verandah hangs from six wrought iron ties and has diamond-patterned pressed metal cladding to the underside. At street level remain the columns that framed the large entrance to the garage where petrol pumps used to sit. On the exterior of the two shops below the verandah can be seen the main columns that originally framed the large entrance to the garage where petrol pumps once sat. The original patterned glass at the top of the shop windows has been replaced with full clear glass

Beneath the stepped parapet a smooth plastered façade has two columns outlining the higher central portion with raised numerals 19 and 32 respectively. At the centre of the columns the façade is stepped back and includes a rectangular framed window.   The lower outside portions of the façade have the raised words Teasey’s and Garage respectively. All lettering is in the Art Deco style.  

Image credit Debbie McCauley 2022
1934 Devonport Rd Survey Map - G Duncan. Image credit Tauranga City Libraries

An aside: a back story about Harry Teasey
A sensation was created in Tauranga in January 1935 when a man leaped from the Auckland express into the Wairoa River. It was described as a ‘sensational leap’ of 25ft into a half-ebbing tide, taken when the train was two-thirds of it was across the bridge well on the Tauranga side. Whakatāne police reported that a Model A Ford truck had been stolen from a prison camp and one of the escapees was 18-year-old Herbert Maxfield who had been sentenced to three years at the Borstal Institution for breaking, entering and theft.

At 4.30am Harry heard someone trying to start a motor car on the opposite side of the street from where he lived in Fourth Avenue. Being a motor engineer, he went to help and recognised escapee Maxfield, who was trying to steal his neighbour Mr Bowen’s car. Constables Moore and Audley had been up all night scouring the countryside and came as soon as they received Teasey’s message, but by then Maxfield had disappeared. Maxfield later obtained a revolver and during his time on the run obtained civilian clothing at gunpoint, attempted a carjacking with the same revolver, then held a man and his daughter at gunpoint. He was in Balclutha when, after hiding in his fowl-house, he attempted to steal a car belonging to Mr Riach. He fired his gun at Riach who responded with his shotgun. Maxfield took to the scrub but was overtaken and at last captured by police.

About Harry Joseph Teasey (1903- 1999)
Harry was the grandson of Tauranga boat-builder Capt. Joseph Denham Brain (1841-1924) and Kate Ellen Brain (née Bishop) (1844-1933). Joseph was originally from Auckland but settled in Tauranga in 1880. In 1881 he build what is today Brain Watkins House Museum & Heritage Garden Cnr. Elizabeth St and Cameron Road.  Harry's was the eldest son of William Teasey (1871 - 1950) and Ada Teasey - nee Brain (1974 - 1950) who lived at Brain-Watkins House while Joseph built their family home in 4th Avenue - a house that still stands to this day.  Harry was born in Brain-Watkins House but grew up in the 4th Avenue house.  To learn more about Brain Watkins House & Heritage Garden go to #3 on the Map & Guide.

Debbie McCauley at Brain-Watkins House Museum: Image credit Sunlive 2022.                   
The Teasey House Image Credit CR Brown
Features in the Teasey House: Image Credit Debbie McCauley 2023