Home

Welcome to the website of Historic Places Wellington Incorporated (HPW). We are a membership not-for-profit organisation based in Wellington, New Zealand. We advocate for heritage in the wider Wellington region, and offer events such as talks, walks and visits to historic places and buildings.  For more information, see our About Us page.  Our newsletters are under the Resources page, as are useful links and other heritage information. We are also on Facebook.

*

News and Events

Friday 17 July, 7pm – 8:30pm: Restoring Old Houses – Do Wellingtonians need help?

We have rescheduled this public talk that was to be held in March. Please see our upcoming events page for more information (this is a free event, open to anyone interested).

*

DSC05922Saturday 1 August. Old St Paul’s has been closed for 14 months for renovations and will be celebrating its reopening with a special community day on 1 August – visit 10am to 3pm for live music, spot prizes and more!

Since May 2019, work to strengthen the building’s timber frame, shore up foundations and repair historic cracking has been painstakingly completed. Staff are now preparing the building to receive visitors once again.

Old St Paul’s closure also provided an opportunity to attend to tired infrastructure, some of which dated to the major restoration completed by the erstwhile Ministry of Works during the late 1960s. The church now has new lighting, heating and sound systems to better support concerts and special events, and improved security and fire supression systems to keep both church and visitors safe.

Additionally, some of the treasures within received conservation treatment. The 1886 illuminated panels by artist Charles Barraud have been cleaned by specialist painting conservators, and the brass eagle lectern, dating to 1881, is gleaming once again. The nave flags, gifted after WWII in recognition of Old St Paul’s role as a divisional Protestant chapel for US Marines stationed in the area, have been cleaned and rehung. (From Heritage This Month, 1 July 2020, Heritage NZ emailed newsletter.)

*

The latest (May-June) Heritage Today newsletter can be accessed here (PDF): Heritage Today May June 2020. Earlier editions are available from their online library.

The latest (June 2020) issue of Oculus – the newsletter of Historic Places Aotearoa is available here: Oculus June 2020

*

This article recently appeared on Newsroom – a plea from Michael Moore-Jones to keep more of our Modernist heritage.

*

Futuna Chapel will be open again on the first Sunday of the month, from 11am to 3pm. A trustee will be present to answer your questions. Free entry: a koha is appreciated.

Located off Friend Street, Karori, Futuna Chapel was designed by John Scott and built in 1961 and is a Category 1 historic place.

*

Blue Plaques. This is an initiative of our national body, Historic Places Aotearoa to identify and promote our built heritage. The large cast aluminium plaques are designed to be placed prominently on the facades of important heritage buildings. We have some interest from heritage building owners in Wellington.

 

*

Victoria University of Wellington, which owns the Gordon Wilson Flats at 320 The Terrace, wishes to demolish the building. It is not currently habitable. A city council panel approved the proposal to take the Gordon Wilson flats off the council’s heritage list. The Architectural Centre appealed the decision. The decision from the Environment Court on Gordon Wilson Flats came out on 9 August 2017. The appeal by the Architectural Centre was allowed and Gordon Wilson Flats should not be taken off the Council’s heritage list.

Gordon Wilson Flats
Gordon Wilson Flats, late 1950s. The Terrace.

The decision noted that the appeal process had: “provided information that raises the heritage significance architecturally, socially and technically … of the GWF. Rather than diminishing the building’s heritage value … it has in fact strengthened the reasons for it to be listed” (at [51]). For more information about the Gordon Wilson Flats as architectural heritage, see the website of the Architectural Centre. And, also, on the DOCOMOMO NZ website.

  *            *            *