House

75 Queen Street And Wakefield Street, Westport

  • House.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Mike Vincent. Date: 19/06/2012.
  • House. Image coutesy of www.archerhouse.co.nz.
    Copyright: Archer House. Taken By: J & C Bruning.
  • House. Interior. Image coutesy of www.archerhouse.co.nz.
    Copyright: Archer House. Taken By: J & C Bruning.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1707 Date Entered 30th August 1990

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Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration includes the land described as Lot 2 DP 10485 (CT NL5D/977) and Sec 158 Town of Westport (CT NL14/35), Nelson Land District, and the building known as House thereon.

City/District Council

Buller District

Region

West Coast Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 10485 (CT NL5D/977), Sec 158 Town of Westport (CT NL14/35), Nelson Land District

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DESCRIPTION:

The house at 75 Queen Street was built for Robert Taylor and his wife Ellen in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Taylor was a partner in the firm of Taylor and Enright which operated a well known, and evidently prosperous, Westport grocery business. Ellen Taylor cannot have enjoyed her new home for very long, however, as she died in 1905. After Robert's death in 1914 the house passed to Cecelia Taylor who had evidently become his second wife. Cecelia remarried in 1947 and in that year the house was sold to the local Roman Catholic convent.

The Sisters of Mercy leased the house for many years before occupying it themselves for a short time after the 1968 earthquake. The Sisters finally sold the house [to local businessman Paul Archer in 1981, and the property remains in his ownership today, operating as a boutique guest house].

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Historical Significance or Value

75 Queen Street is a magnificent home in contrast to the modest dwellings which are more commonly found in provincial towns like Westport. It nevertheless demonstrates the degree of wealth that could be attained by businessmen like Robert Taylor in the heyday of a town based on extractive industries and farming.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

Built in the Italianate style which was popular in New Zealand from the 1860s to the early 1900s, this house is one of Westport's finest homes. In an excellent condition, and having been sympathetically renovated and restored, the house features a large amount of well-crafted stained glass and a very refined and restrained use of cast-iron lacework and classical motifs rendered in wood.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK VALUE:

Standing on a large section with an attractive garden, the house at 75 Queen Street makes a valuable contribution to the streetscape of Westport.

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Physical Description

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

Standing at the north-east corner of the intersection of Queen and Wakefield Streets the house is a single storey corner bay villa built in an Italianate style. Clad in rusticated weatherboards, the house rests upon wooden piles, has brick chimneys and is sheltered by intersecting hipped roofs of corrugated iron. At the rear of the building a narrow gabled roof differentiates part of the service wing from the rest of the house. A slightly concave return verandah, supported by paired cast-iron columns made by Scott Bros. of Christchurch, wraps around the south-west corner of the building where it is terminated by projecting bay windows with hipped roofs. The principal decorative motifs of the exterior are the ornamental verandah posts, the bracketed eaves and window sills, and the sash windows which are framed by pilasters and crowned by arched fanlights and prominent keystones.

Inside the house a central hall opens off the verandah through double doors on the western side of the building and provides access to the three bedrooms, bathroom and drawing room in the front of the house.

A large door at the end of the spacious hall opens into what was once the service wing but which now accommodates an open plan dining and living area, another sitting room and a compact kitchen, pantry and laundry. The most distinctive feature of the interior is the stained and leaded glass which was especially imported from England. The fanlights above each large sash window, the sidelights, fanlights and door panels of the front and hall doors and the skylights which light the hall and dining area are all glazed with coloured glass arranged in geometrical and organic patterns.

In addition to this generous use of stained glass the lower sash of the drawing room window which overlooks the verandah and both sashes of the south facing windows which light the adjacent bedroom are also glazed with stained glass, presumably to offer some degree of privacy to these rooms. Set within the larger stained glass windows are hand-painted illustrations of different birds, whilst the hall door bears a cottage scene at its centre. Another original feature of the house are the painted dark brown papier mache dados in the drawing room and hallway. These complement the ornate fireplace in the drawing room and the stained wood which is featured throughout the house.

MODIFICATIONS:

c.1968(?) Master bedroom subdivided to create a bathroom on the north side of the building. The bedroom fireplace was removed to allow for a small bathroom with a lowered ceiling and a recessed entrance off the hall to be installed. A small rectangular window was inserted in the north wall at the same time to light this room.

c.1984 Conservatory erected and rear of house altered by Greymouth architect, Gary Hopkinson. Two windows on the north wall were replaced by the glass conservatory which opens out from the living room/dining area created by the removal of internal walls between the former kitchen and washroom. One of the windows taken out was inserted into the east wall to light the new kitchen. A replica of the second window was built to light the sitting room which was originally the maid's bedroom. The concrete floor of the washroom was levelled at this time and the house was also repiled and relined.

Notable Features

Stained glass and papier mache dados.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1895 -

Construction Details

Timber, corrugated iron, concrete, brick and cast iron.

Information Sources

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.