UPDATE Jul/Aug 2012
For restoration, building purchased by Dunedin businessman Lawrie Forbes.
Former Education Board/AH Reed/Skinners Building
75 Crawford St (cnr Jetty St), Dunedin
Owner: Wilden Holdings Limited. Director: John Peter Diggle.
### D Scene 16-2-11
Rocked and rolled? (page 1)
A prominent inner-city building may be demolished after having existing damage exacerbated by the Canterbury earthquake. See p3 #bookmark
Building may be demolished (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Disrepair of the historic AH Reed building in central Dunedin has been worsened by the Canterbury earthquake and it will probably be demolished, a spokesman for the owner says. A wall between the building and the neighbouring building, Sammy’s nightclub, was precarious and had caused Dunedin City Council to order the area to be taped off and repaired, the spokesman said.
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The above image shows the parapet side wall detaching. All external building damage was recorded on 20 February.
David Murray at Hocken Library provides the following:
The former Otago Education Board building (beside the Jetty St ramp to the railway overbridge) is one of few surving designs by architect John Somerville who designed many schools, almost all(?) now demolished.
There was a rather entertaining kerfuffle when the building was going up in 1897. See Papers Past at http://bit.ly/fY0KKR
The Otago Daily Times (4/9/1897) reports:
“The dispute at present raging in the Education Office appears to us to be a little of the storm in the teapot order. But it has some importance attached to it by very clearly revealing to the public the haphazard, happy-go-lucky manner in which the board is in the habit of conducting its business. The special matter in dispute needs but little comment. The board is building new offices, and members approve of plans for that purpose which have been laid before them by the architect.”
[What if? italics, there follows a long essay by the newspaper.]
The history of the building is very interesting. It includes the Education Board (1890s-1920s), though this organisation’s huge significance to Otago history is under appreciated these days. Then there was Reeds, from the 1920s, one of the great stories in New Zealand publishing.
See the comments of former building residents in response to my photograph at Facebook http://on.fb.me/fVF6Oo
The signs in the windows and on a door to Jetty Street read:
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr