### ODT Online Sat, 29 Apr 2017 Tourism intended for prison
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s old prison has four new trustees, a new tenant with the tourism market in mind, and is ready to move to a new stage in its evolution. The 121-year-old Victorian-style courtyard facility designed by John Campbell has been returned to its original form. Work to replace decorative architectural elements removed from the front of the building was completed recently. Now the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust is turning its attention to future uses for the former jail that is one of the city’s more unusual historic buildings. The prison was decommissioned in 2007, and the trust bought the property in 2012. Trust chairman Owen Graham said the physical restoration work was 95% complete — ridge tiles and two 2-metre finials still had to be finished — but it was time to start a new stage of evolution for the building. The new trustees had been appointed for their range of skills and backgrounds, and would help the trust make decisions about what happened next. Those decisions could range from another part-upgrade or “go for a multimillion-dollar effort”. […] Mr Graham said part of the trust’s strategy was to start occupying parts of the prison to sustain its activities and “bring the prison back to life with different activities”. It had been working with a business that wanted to use the prison’s kitchen, which had been identified as “serviceable”. Read more
The former prison has a Heritage New Zealand category one classification; future development involves discussion with Dunedin City Council and Heritage New Zealand.
Showing the many phases of use of the prison:
1896-1915 – new prison opened with cells for 52 men and 20 women
1915-1959 – Police move in to administration block and look after prisoners as well as their own duties
1959-1974 – 34 female prisoners are accommodated, segregated from men
1975-1994 – reopened catering for 59 male inmates
1994-2000 – Police move out to their new premises and prison reverts to original purpose as a men only facility
2007 – prison decommissioned and Corrections operation moved to Milburn
2011 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust formed to secure the prison for the nation
2012 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust raises $50,000 to allow it to purchase the property from Ngai Tahu Property Ltd
2014 – Conservation Plan completed
2015 – Fund-raising begins to allow us to restore the facades and repair part of the slate roof, estimated at $500,000.
39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 17, 2015
Historic prison restoration gets kickstart
● Resource consent granted for conservation and repair
● Funding from Otago Community Trust
● New visitor centre
● Prison tours
● Restaurant for courtyard
### dunedintv.co.nz Thu, 17 Sep 2015 Historic prison restoration gets kickstart
A $90,000 grant is kickstarting the project to restore Dunedin’s historic prison to its former glory. The money will enable the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust to start exterior repairs. And that means members are finally able to turn their vision into reality. Ch39 Link
[click to enlarge]DCC Webmap – 2 Castle Street, former Dunedin Prison [Jan/Feb 2013]
The Dunedin Prison, situated in an architecturally and historically important heritage precinct in Anzac Square, was first occupied in 1898 and is possibly Australasia’s only extant Victorian courtyard prison.
The Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust is in the process of raising funds for a feasibility study for the building, which was decommissioned in August 2007, after operating as a prison for more than a century.
Dunedin Prison (Former)
Corner 2 Castle Street and State Highway 1; Dunbar Street, Dunedin
Registration Number: 4035
Historic Place – Category I
A Dunedin gaol has stood on this central city site since 1855. First occupied by immigration barracks, these were converted into temporary prison accommodation in 1855. The land was vested in the city as a site for a public gaol in June 1858. It was not until 1861 that new gaol buildings were readied. Additional buildings were added over the following years as need outstripped accommodation. With the appointment of Arthur Hume (1838-41?-1918) to the position of Inspector of Prisons in 1880, a centralised system of penal administration began. He instituted a programme of new prison building, designed to implement the ‘English system’ of penal reform.
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.
Due to staffing shortages during World War One, police staff were relocated from their neighbouring barracks into the prison’s administration block. In 1959 the accommodation was converted into a women’s prison. In 1974, it became a male remand and short sentence prison and remained so until 2007 when it was vacated.