For a period in the 19th century Oamaru enjoyed a boom based on the productivity of its hinterland for wheat and then frozen meat exports. The boom was short-lived but the prosperity it brought coupled with the easily worked Oamaru stone have left the town with some remarkable heritage buildings. Most of these were designed by the architectural firm of Forrester and Lemon in the 1870s and 1880s. Thomas Forrester, a Scotsman who had been trained as a plasterer was the principal designer. Individually his buildings are not remarkable but the streetscape they form has considerable charm and has made Oamaru a mecca for sightseers.
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