Work on the historic bank included strengthening the structure from 67% of building code requirements to 100% and installing a full fire sprinkler system.
205 Princes St – Old BNZ c.1888 (photo by FA Coxhead re-imaged)
With Silver Fern [Farms] also moving into the old chief post office, it will give the Exchange momentum. The shops will do better and it will give the whole area more impetus. –Michael van Aart
### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jul 2013
Refurbished bank building ready for law firm
By Nigel Benson
Dunedin’s former commercial heart – the Exchange – will pulsate with new life next week. With scaffolding removed and tradesmen gone, the 130-year-old Bank of New Zealand building in Princes St will become the new home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers on Wednesday. The occupation of the building, which is considered architect William Barnett Armson’s (1834-1883) masterpiece, follows an 18-month restoration project.
“We’re really looking forward to moving in,” firm director Michael van Aart said yesterday. “The building is dramatic and one of a kind. We have to celebrate the unique features we have here in Dunedin and heritage is certainly one of them. The Exchange was the heart of New Zealand’s economy when it was built.”
The building had been untenanted for the past 13 years. Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers had been based in Radio House for the past six years and the move would be good for the Exchange, Mr van Aart believed.
New Zealand Historic Places Trust – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance
Book: John Barsby, The BNZ Building, Princes Street Dunedin (Southern Heritage Trust, 2011)
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26.2.13 Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)
The banking desk designed by architect Robert A Lawson is held by Otago Settlers Museum; and an original ornamental fire surround from the bank is installed at Antrim House (NZHPT National Office) in Wellington (photographs in Barsby). It is thought one more fire surround went to another Wellington residence.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr