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

Thorndon houses

The Wellington City Council’s Draft Spatial Plan is due to begin consultation on 10 August. “The Spatial Plan is essentially a ‘blueprint’ for our city that sets out a plan of action for where and how we should grow and develop.”  You can read more on the council’s website. We asked that the consultation should be delayed and issued a media release. You can read them on our Advocacy page. We are particularly concerned about the plans to reduce or eliminate the special character rules in some of the inner suburbs (Mt Victoria, Thorndon, Aro Valley, Mt Cook, etc). The projected population growth of Wellington city was also made pre-Covid and we don’t yet know what effect that will have.

*

DSC05922Old St Paul’s re-opened after being closed for 14 months for renovations. Open hours are 10am – 3pm. Since May 2019, work to strengthen the building’s timber frame, shore up foundations and repair historic cracking has been painstakingly completed.

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. (From Heritage This Month, 1 July 2020, Heritage NZ emailed newsletter.)

*

30 August – we will hold our AGM with speakers to follow (see our upcoming events page for more information).

*

New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards – Wellington heritage category winner was a refurbishment at 109 Ghuznee Street for Antipodes Skincare. This article on Stuff has further information. The Modernist (1968) apartment block on The Terrace, Jellicoe Towers designed by Alan Wild, won an enduring architecture award.

*

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. You can read back issues on our useful links page.

*

Architect Ken Davis recently wrote an opinion piece in Capital Magazine Winter 2020 Issue 71 about the Wellington City Library building. And 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.

July 2020: the university presented its plans for the site, which includes renovating the Maclean Flats but demolishing Gordon Wilson Flats. Here are a few articles about it. Stuff July 29 and Stuff 30 July; Scoop July 29

 

  *            *            *