Broadcast Notice: RA Lawson, architect

RNZ National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
22 September 2013

9.40 Norman Ledgerwood – Dunedin’s Victorian Architect
Norman Ledgerwood has just published a book about RA Lawson, the architect behind some of the country’s most important historical buildings. Scottish-born Lawson designed the First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle and the Dunedin Municipal Building. In his 28 years working in Dunedin from 1862 onwards, Lawson designed over 250 buildings, and his work also survives in many towns in Otago and Southland.
R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, by Norman Ledgerwood, with photography by Graham Warman, is published by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand.

● Norman Ledgerwood ( 17′ 56″ )
Writer who chronicles the career of architect Robert Lawson, the man responsible for much of the historic skyline of Dunedin.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3

Publication: 25 September 2013.
From the publicity material . . .

RA Lawson Victorian Architect of Dunedin [HCCTNZ]Following the discovery of gold in Otago, Dunedin quickly grew to become the largest and richest city in New Zealand. Among the architects who influenced the young city was the Scottish architect, Robert Arthur Lawson.

Lawson became more than a leading architect of the day, he was deeply involved in the management and affairs of his beloved Presbyterian Church. Over a short period Lawson played a major role in the growth of Dunedin — taking it from a small township to a city of remarkable and enduring Victorian architecture.

Lawson’s most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive
character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities.

In R.A.Lawson Norman Ledgerwood celebrates the life and career of Lawson, and Graham Warman’s photographs offer an elegant tour of the living legacy of Lawson’s most prominent buildings.

This handsome volume is printed on fine art paper and is richly illustrated throughout with historical and contemporary photographs, as well as many of Lawson’s architectural drawings.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Heritage, Name, New Zealand, People

2 responses to “Broadcast Notice: RA Lawson, architect

  1. Presented by Stewart Harvey’s Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust New Zealand (HCCTNZ)…

    ### ODT Online Sun, 22 Sep 2013
    Lawson: The man behind the name
    By Bruce Munro
    R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin is the first, and long-overdue, comprehensive treatment of the life, work and legacy of one of the colony’s foremost architects. The book, which is being launched this week, reveals the renowned architect as a gifted individual who was not without weaknesses. It also rehabilitates and enhances his reputation besmirched by, among other things, inaccurate reports of the Seacliff lunatic asylum debacle.
    The book lists 94 surviving Lawson buildings, including 61 within Dunedin City boundaries and five in Melbourne. Dozens of them were photographed for the book by professional commercial photographer Graham Warman, of Dunedin.
    Read more

  2. ### September 25, 2013 – 7:00pm
    New book looks at Victorian architect behind First Church
    The buildings designed by architect Robert Arthur Lawson stand as monuments to Dunedin’s past. Now the remarkable number of buildings the Victorian architect behind First Church designed has become clear. And the author of a new book on Lawson says that was due, in part, to an environment before building safety laws were introduced.

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