Something to mark ten years, 2012-2022

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the Built in Dunedin blog. The first post I wrote, in July 2012, was about the Hallenstein factory in Dowling Street, so I thought it would be fitting to revisit that by sharing something I didn’t know about at the time.

Illustrated here is the original front elevation drawing made by architect David Ross in 1882. It was only recently added to the Hallenstein Brothers archive in the Hocken Collections, after being rescued some years ago from a rubbish skip.

Front elevation, Hallenstein’s New Zealand Clothing Factory, Dowling Street, Dunedin. Hallenstein Brothers records, Hocken Collecions Uare Taoka o Hākena. MS-5193/001.

Ross was an artist and a skilled draughtsman, but sadly few of his drawings survive, making this one even more special. The most striking feature is the large cupola ventilator above the parapet. Modern ventilation and lighting were a feature of the building, which has a long gallery and roof lantern. This drawing raises some interesting questions about the planning. Ross had travelled in Europe and the United States and Bendix Hallenstein had looked at factory design in England. It would be interesting to know of specific ideas they borrowed from elsewhere.

Unfortunately the other sheets in the set of plans are not known to have survived. The drawing is the contract copy, signed by builders Meikle and Campbell, and the strikethroughs suggest the cupola was deleted by the time of the agreement. Possibly it was more of a grand statement than a functional feature. To me it looks somewhat discordant, partly because the parapet treatment is restrained in comparison.

Thanks to everyone who has followed blog over the past decade, and apologies for not posting much in recent times. When I started , my idea was to write very short posts, but they almost all turned into quite lengthy pieces. I would like to have shared more economical writing, but on the other hand this has allowed stories that have brought out human interest, with more glimpses into the lives of people who lived and worked in the buildings.

The blog has generated many curious questions, sent to me about various local buildings. Apologies to anyone I didn’t get back to – I try to answer them all but they do get away on me sometimes.

And I have the best of intentions to write more here soon!


22 thoughts on “Something to mark ten years, 2012-2022

  1. Ian

    Thank you for all your hard work investigating the history of these buildings. Though I have a family connection to one of the buildings I find the others equally as interesting.

  2. Liz Angelo

    Congratulations. Such a lot of work which has enriched my experience living in Dunedin since 2011. Thankyou David Murray

  3. David Alan Welch

    Congratulations on a well researched and well written blog. I don’t live in Dunedin nowadays and only remember some of the buildings you describe. Despite this I almost always find the inside story, that you discover about buildings and their builders and owners, to be very interesting in itself, so thank you – David Welch

  4. Joy Baker

    It’s the extra mile of research and human stories you uncover, David. This is what makes your blog so interesting and intriguing. I look forward to every entry as it enriches our knowledge of what has gone on before, that builds on what we have now. Thank you so much for your work, David. Congratulations. Joy Baker

  5. Clive Bennett

    Thank you – have really enjoyed your blog and appreciate the effort to record such historical interest!

  6. Craig Marsterson

    My g-g-grandfather Edward Busbridge arrived in NZ in 1875, they had brought possums & deer with them from England and started farming. My g-grandmother Clara was born on Andersons Bay Road near Dunedin. Sadly the farm failed and they released all the animals and went to Australia.

  7. Donald Kerr

    Any plans photos of next door – 30 Dowling, old Trust Bank and now Citysite Apartments?
    All the best

  8. Alistair Stewart

    Congratulations. Thanks for your wonderful scholarship and appreciation of Dunedin’s heritage. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every post.

  9. Gregor

    Would be great to see a “buildings that never were” story – I have a biography of George Troup showing an alternative design for the Railway station.

    1. David Murray Post author

      Yes! This is something I have collected a lot of information on and thought I would like to do a physical exhibition about as it would be very interesting and there are many surviving drawings. There’s a very long list… more than one railway station alternative, unbuilt houses, 1980s towers, etc. It would be good to include engineering proposals such as the proposed harbour bridge and the canal. I could possibly run a blog series instead…

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