### ODT Online Wed, 6 Jun 2012
Trust to develop Dunedin prison
By Hamish McNeilly
Ambitious plans for the 116-year-old Dunedin Prison have been locked down, with confirmation the historic property has been sold to a trust intent on transforming it into a tourist attraction. The Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust has bought the property for an undisclosed sum, after Ngai Tahu deferred its first right of refusal to buy the surplus Crown property.
It was envisioned the first stage could be completed by the end of next year to capitalise on the cruise-ship market, and the prison’s location between the Dunedin Railway Station and the upgraded Otago Settlers Museum.
Trust chairman Stewart Harvey said the sale was the culmination of a year of discussions between both parties, and the trust was “extremely grateful to Ngai Tahu for their generosity and co-operation”. The trust was now able to begin fundraising for the estimated $2.6 million needed for the first stage of the prison redevelopment; with the ground floor likely to include a cafe, office areas, function areas and a “prison experience” tour.
About Dunedin Prison
[Source: New Zealand Historic Places Trust]
Plans for the new Dunedin Prison were completed in 1892 by John Campbell (1857-1942), Government Architect. Modelled on New Scotland Yard, the prison was designed in a Queen Anne style including cupola domes, dormers, striped brick and Oamaru stone elevations, and fine detailing. The layout consisted of four blocks surrounding a central courtyard. Construction was delayed as the Dunedin community felt the central site could be better utilised. Work finally began, however, in 1895. The exterior was finished by April 1897 and on 16 June 1898 the prison was occupied.
● Full registration report
Hocken Snapshot: Dunedin Prison (rendering)
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr