Harston's Building was designed by EA Williams constructed in 1930. The year is important because on the 3rd February 1931 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richte scale struck the Hawke's Bay area destroying many buildings in Napier and nearby Hastings. Many buildings in Napier that survived the initial shocks were subsequently destroyed by fires that swept through the town. With most of the water pipes destroyed by the quake the fire brigade could do little to save the structures. The extent of the damage can be seen in this report published in the Auckland Eveing Post on 5th February from Trevor Geddes the Managing Director of the Napier Daily Telegraph.
The printed list of buildings destroyed by fire includes Harston's Music Warehouse yet it appears to have survived. Peter Shaw in Art Deco Napier: Styles of the thirties, writes that the building was strengthened after the earthquake so perhaps the Harston had a warehouse as well as this shop.
However, the best part of the building, whether is survived the earthquake and fires or was (re)built shortly afterwards, is the shop's street-level entrance. Two sets of setback double doors with a display case in between. Glorious.
Art Deco Napier: Styles of the thirties by Peter Shaw and Peter Hallett
Destroyed Buildngs - A Napier List, Auckland Evening Post, 5th February 1931