Henry Feldwick’s Residence (Former)
326 Dee Street, Invercargill
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
24th November 1983
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Pt Lot 2 DP 3256 (CT 367871), Southland Land District, and the building described as Henry Feldwick’s Residence (Former) thereon.
Pt Lot 2 DP 3256 (CT 367871), Southland Land District
This handsome villa was designed by Invercargill architectural partnership Mackenzie and Gilbertson for Invercargill businessman and politician Henry Feldwick in 1890. It has historical and architectural significance.
The land on which this residence is built was originally part of the Invercargill Hundred (larger sections planned for agricultural settlement). In 1888 Section 28 Block I was subdivided and Invercargill gentleman John Feldwick purchased four sections bordering what is now Avenal and Dee Streets. In 1890, sections 29 and 30 were transferred to Henry Feldwick, John’s brother. Surrey-born Henry Feldwick (c. 1844-1908) came to New Zealand in 1859 with his family. In 1876 he came to Invercargill where he entered into a partnership with William Craig, proprietor of the Southland News. In 1877, after Craig’s retirement, Henry and his brother John carried on the business. Henry was involved in political affairs, being member for Invercargill from 1877, and in 1890 he was called to the Legislative Council. He was also mayor of Invercargill. He died in Wellington in 1908.
In January 1890, architectural partnership MacKenzie and Gilbertson invited tenders for the erection of a brick and concrete residence on North Road for Henry Feldwick. As originally built, the brick and concrete house faced Dee Street, with the central gable providing an entrance lobby and hall with formal entertaining rooms on either side. The central gable was transected by a pair of parallel gables. The rear of the house provided bedrooms, kitchen and other service rooms. The house has brick foundations, brick walls, slate roofs and lath and plaster walls. The exterior brick work was finished with a cement render. The house features a Neo-Classical decorative scheme – with an arched entrance and pediment supported on paired columns with recessed vermiculated panels. Windows feature decorative plaster architraves, sills, cappings and ornate keystones. The rear of the residence was more plainly decorated, with windows square-headed double-hung sash units, and typically un-rendered.
On Henry’s death in 1908, the property was transferred to The Public Trustee as executor, and offered for sale. The real estate notice provides detail about the house, describing it as:
‘one of the finest villas in Southland (double-brick outer walls and brick partitions, with slate roof), contains 8 living rooms, also scullery, storeroom, bathroom; built-in wardrobes in every bedroom. All in perfect order and condition. New “Champion” range installed last year: high pressure boiler. Fine drying green; fruit trees lining every fence; large fowlhouse and run.’
Retired farmer Francis McLeod bought the house. On McLeod’s death, the property changed ownership several times. In later years, it was converted into flats. In 2008 it was converted again, this time to a restaurant called Buster Crabb. The remodelling required to convert the house to a restaurant saw extensive alterations to the rear. In 2018, Henry Feldwick’s residence remains home to Buster Crabb’s Restaurant.
Mackenzie and Gilbertson
Mackenzie and Gilbertson went into partnership in June 1882 with Charles Gilbertson joining John Mackenzie in his Dee Street offices in the Earnslaw Chambers. Little is known about Charles Gilbertson except that he was in partnership in the firm McKenzie & Gilbertson between 1882 and 1897, and subsequently practiced on his own account. During that time the firm built residential and commercial properties in the town such as the St John’s Church (1886), Clifton Church (1887), and the residence Altrive (1894) at Waipounamu, as well as the Invercargill Club on Don Street. In January 1897, the Weekly Times reported that Mr C. Gilbertson was due to leave Invercargill and had transferred his interests in the architectural firm to Mr E. R. Wilson. It is not clear if Gilbertson left, as he is reported to have designed Invercargill’s Victoria Railway Hotel in 1907. John Mackenzie retired to Nelson. The commission for St John’s seems to have been the most significant building the firm designed.
Converted into flats
Converted to a restaurant
9th May 2018
Report Written By
Buster Crabb Website
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.
A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand