Tag Archives: Arson

The Bog fire damaged . . . . (why?)

Sirens heard last night from lower Pitt Street…. ANOTHER of Dunedin’s significant heritage buildings up in flames.

WHERE THE SMOKE DETECTORS AND SPRINKLER SYSTEM

Otago Daily Times Published on Aug 2, 2015
[post] Fire at The Bog
Firefighters attend a blaze at The Bog in central Dunedin tonight.

39 Dunedin Television Published on Aug 3, 2015
Central city pub catches fire
An investigation is under way to determine the cause of a fire at a central city pub.

### ODT Online Sun, 2 Aug 2015
Fire at central city pub
Firefighters have attended a blaze at The Bog Irish Bar in central Dunedin tonight. Crews were called about 7pm after a fire broke out in an upstairs office at the pub, on the corner of George and London Sts.
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The Bog, 387 George Street [Google Street View Nov 2009]Google Street View (Nov 2009)

Briefly, the first hotel on this site was established in 1864 as the Black Bull Hotel. Daniel White changed the name to the Royal Albert when he took over in 1879 – he opened the current hotel building in 1880.

Royal Albert Hotel building history by David Murray:
Built: 1880 / 1939
Address: 387 George Street
Architects: Louis Boldini / Stone & Sturmer
Builders: Norman Wood / D.P. Murphy

Johann Luks (1877-1879) was a German immigrant who had previously worked as a fruiterer in George Street. In late 1878 he commissioned the architect Louis Boldini to design a new hotel building, but was declared bankrupt in August 1879 before the project could go ahead. Daniel White purchased the fourteen-year lease on the property the same month, and in December was granted a license for the establishment which he gave a new name: the Royal Albert Hotel. The replacement building was erected in 1880 by contractor Norman Wood to Boldini’s plans, and completed by October. It was built of brick, with ornate cemented facades in the revived Italian Renaissance style, and made the most of a tricky triangular site. The ground floor had a bar, three sitting rooms, a dining room, and a kitchen. There were nine bedrooms and a sitting room on the first floor.

█ Read more + historical images
http://builtindunedin.com/2013/05/14/royal-albert-hotel/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Judge Oke Blaikie finally said it

The Judge has spoken out, well ahead of the Vice-Chancellor who remains officially ‘mum’. He’s not saying this out of left field – we’re ALL disgusted with the fires caused by the students’ lawless behaviour in our public streets; and with the lack of collective responsibility shown by the University of Otago and City authorities.

It is intolerable that Dunedin emergency services, performing their roles responsibly, are having to bear the major burden year in year out.

The University of Otago Council plonkers and senior ‘ivy-leaguers’ need a wake-up call. Too shrouded in their own mist and comfy salaries, every one an island? Precious loves.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 Nov 2011
Fears publicity harming varsity
By Matthew Haggart
The University of Otago might face a decline similar to Otago’s sports teams, as a combination of regional demographics, tertiary underfunding, and ongoing publicity about student unrest hit home, a university council member has predicted. The comments from Judge Oke Blaikie came out of left field at a university council meeting yesterday during a discussion on the institution’s budget for 2012. Judge Blaikie, who is also chairman of the university’s disciplinary appeals board, said ongoing publicity about student unrest and fires was contributing to a negative perception among parents of potential students.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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No temporary cover: historic Stavely Building of Dunedin

One of Dunedin’s finest ‘stately’ warehouse buildings is waiting to be saved.
From the archives…

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Aug 2009
Energy-saver bulb likely fire cause
By Debbie Porteous
A fire which severely damaged one of Dunedin’s historic buildings last year most likely started in a light fixture fitted with an energy-saver bulb, a fire service investigation has found. The Stavely Building in Jetty St, built in 1897*, was left uninhabitable after the March 30 fire. In addition to the damage to the building, several businesses, including the Dunedin Ballet School, a storage firm and a curtain maker, lost all or most of their equipment and stored goods. A joint police and fire investigation took place as there were reports of the premises being insecure when the fire was discovered.
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Since the March 2008 fire the building hasn’t been temporarily roofed or weather sealed. However, according to unnamed sources the building is structurally viable for conservation, restoration and adaptive reuse options. Sources say the owner is looking to sell the fire damaged building.

*The building is significantly older than the date given by the newspaper.

****

Local historian and curator Peter Entwisle provides a history of the building based on documentary sources. Photographs by Meg Davidson, Dunedin.

Location: Southwest corner of Bond St and Jetty St, 5 Jetty St, Dunedin.
Legal Description: Lot 16 Deeds 135
Owner: POS Developments Limited, Dunedin
Architect: Nathaniel Young Armstrong Wales (1832-1903) [1]
Built: April 1878 [2] to 1879 [3]
Name: Stavely’s Bond. [4]
Materials: First floor Port Chalmers breccia; brick rendered in plaster above; slate roof.

Description:
A boldly modelled commercial warehouse in a neo-classical style, the Stavely Building commands the southwest corner of Bond St and Jetty St. Its lower floor constructed of rusticated Port Chalmers breccia was originally unpainted and of a warm, milk chocolate colour. It is particularly finely textured with its contrasting dressed and unfinished surfaces constituting a tour de force of the mason’s craft. This exceptional quality and the stone’s natural colour were obscured when it was painted some years ago.

The first floor windows on the street fronts are pedimented and like those of the second floor are set between pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Above, there are high entablatures; below, cornices capped by balustrades. At the centre of each there were large triple shell-form pediments bearing the original proprietor’s name in large letters, in a rustic Victorian font, raised in high relief. The shells were originally supported by heraldic dolphins and those on Jetty St survive. On Bond St only the base of the shell remains.

Each street front carries the date “1879” in high relief at the centre of the ground floor. Intended to make a strong statement about vigour, prosperity and confidence the building is a cornerpiece and a landmark and represents the upper level of achievement in Victorian warehouse design in New Zealand.

The prominent use of heraldic beasts and figures and lettering as part of the ornamentation facades is unusual in New Zealand in the Victorian period. Two other buildings designed by the same partnership near this time also exhibit this feature: the Garrison Hall in Dowling St, now the premises of Natural History New Zealand Ltd [recently sold to property investor William Cockerill, Dunedin], for which Mason, Wales and Stevenson called for tenders in February 1878 [5]; and Wain’s Hotel on Princes St, started a few days after the Stavely building. [6]

Recent history:
On Sunday 30 March 2008, the building suffered a major fire, thought to be arson. It did considerable damage and was widely reported, on TV3 national news that night and in the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday editions of the Otago Daily Times. There was no loss of life and it was brought under control. By Wednesday 2 April the Otago Southland area manager of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust had been advised that the building did not need to be demolished as a safety risk. [7]

NZHPT Registration:
Category 2 Historic Place – List No. 4752 [8]

Protections:
The building is scheduled in the Dunedin City District Plan (April 2004); the Bond St and Jetty St facades are protected. [9]

Footnotes:
[1] ODT 8 March 1878 p.3f. “Tenders are invited till Noon of Monday 18th inst., for the erection of a four storey stone and brick Warehouse at corner of Bond and Jetty Streets. Mason, Wales, & Stevenson, Architects.” In a telephone call to the writer on 13/3/09 Niel Wales, formerly of the partnership Mason & Wales and a descendant of Nathaniel Young Armstrong Wales (1832-1903), first of that name in the partnership, said the latter was the designer of Stavely’s Bond. He said the firm has drawings of many buildings from that time including this one; that they are not signed but he can tell from their style who drew them. He said his ancestor was also personally responsible for Wain’s Hotel, the Garrison Hall, the Princes Street building which is now Hayward’s auction house and the former New Zealand Insurance Co. building on the corner of Crawford and lower Rattray Streets.
[2] ODT 12 April 1878 p3b “Building Improvements in the City” states that “Mr. Stavely’s” new warehouse was started in the last “day or two”.
[3] The date is rendered in relief on the Jetty and Bond Street facades.
[4] OW 7 February 1895 p.11.
[5] ODT 8 February 1878 p.3d.
[6] ODT 19 April 1878 p.3b “New Buildings” states the tender has been let and names the architects.
[7] Personal communication Owen Graham District Manager New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Peter Entwisle 2/4/2008.
[8] It is registration number 4752 and was classified in 1986 as a category C historic place. Under the reformed system of classification that has become a category 2 registration. Personal communication Heather Bauchop, NZHPT Otago Southland area office, and Peter Entwisle. 3/4/2008.
[9] Dunedin City District Plan April 2004 Vol 2, site no. B010, map no. 49, Moritzson Building (formerly), address cnr Bond and Jetty Streets.

Bibliography:
Peter Entwisle, Treasures of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 1990
Hardwicke Knight & Niel Wales, Buildings of Dunedin John McIndoe Ltd, Dunedin, 1988
Otago Daily Times Dunedin, 1861- [ODT]
Otago Witness Dunedin, 1851-1932 [OW]

Peter Entwisle
3 April 2008

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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