West Coast, South Island, with Mount Cook and Others from the River Arahura
1893, Oil on canvas
Samuel Charles Farr arrived in Ōtautahi in April 1850, before the planned settlement of the Canterbury Province had began. He spent twelve years in Akaroa, proving to be an adaptable and versatile colonist, before moving to Ōtautahi, where he embarked on an architectural career. His success in competitions helped establish his practice, and his involvement in a wide variety of church and civic activities introduced him to an expanding circle of influential clients. While his buildings were not outstanding, they were highly esteemed by his contemporaries. Among his most famous buildings was the Christchurch Normal School, constructed between 1873 and 1874, which later became Cranmer Court. In a controversial move, it was demolished following the 2011 earthquake.