Tag Archives: Old BNZ Bank – Princes Street

Heritage: Old BNZ, Dunedin —restored

Work on the historic bank included strengthening the structure from 67% of building code requirements to 100% and installing a full fire sprinkler system.

Old BNZ c.1888 [FA Coxhead] re-imaged 1205 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.
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Old BNZ, Armson drawing no. 10 (Princes St facade) 2Armson drawing no. 10, Princes St facade with secondary doorway

Readings:
New Zealand Historic Places Trust – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance

[wikipedia] Princes Street, Dunedin
[wikipedia] Bank of New Zealand

Book: John Barsby, The BNZ Building, Princes Street Dunedin (Southern Heritage Trust, 2011)

Related Post and Comments:
26.2.13 Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)
[more images]

Banking desk from former BNZ Bank, Otago Settlers Museum [nzmuseums.co.nz]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.

Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ (RA Lawson)RA Lawson, Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)

Dunedin 1883 blg taken 1976 lowresBNZ Bank, The Exchange 1976

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Feb 2013
New lease of life for BNZ building
By Debbie Porteous
A grand old dame of the Dunedin streetscape is being brought back to life by a Dunedin law firm. The historic Bank of New Zealand Building at the corner of Rattray and Princes Sts, in the Exchange, will, come June, be home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers, after the company bought the building and is having it renovated. BNZ main entry detail - City WalksFirm directors Michael Van Aart and Tony Sycamore said they were looking for permanent premises and the building’s location, natural light and character had appealed. Mr Sycamore said he expected the building would be “a really nice place to work”. The location was also great. Buildings around the Exchange area were filling up with commercial tenants, in what was historically the commercial heart of Dunedin. The company’s 14 staff would be based on the first floor, and once they had moved in the firm hoped to find tenants for the other three floors.

The company was strengthening the building from 67% of code to 100%, and installing full fire sprinkler systems throughout, as well as renovating and fitting out new offices, while retaining the heritage features of the building preserved by previous owner Ted Daniels.

The company was working closely with the Dunedin City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust on the refurbishment.
Read more

Heritage New Zealand – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance

The Bank of New Zealand Building was designed and constructed over the period 1877-1883. The architect, William Barnett Armson, was one of the first colonially-trained architects to work in New Zealand. He trained at Melbourne in architecture, engineering and surveying, and returned to New Zealand in 1862. The building is considered to be the architect’s masterpiece, and New Zealand’s finest surviving nineteenth century bank.

Dunedin interior built 1883 lowresInterior, before alterations circa 1960. Campbell Photography, Dunedin

The bank is elsewhere described as one of the few New Zealand buildings to reflect the large scale of the sixteenth century Italian palazzo, its prototype. The richly carved exterior features New Zealand plants and landscapes carved by Louis John Godfrey. The interior was extensively modernised by the architects Mandeno and Fraser in 1958 but the superb plaster ceiling over the banking chamber was preserved.

Dunedin Ceiling 1883 lowresCeiling, main banking chamber

Related Post:
27.7.13 Heritage: Old BNZ, Dunedin —restored

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: BNZ Archives, Wellington (via Ted Daniels); Athol Parks, citywalks.co.nz

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