Smith Home

9 Oxford Street, Picton

  • Smith House.
    Copyright: Imogen & Richard Fawcett. Date: 18/01/2005.
  • Smith House.
    Copyright: Imogen & Richard Fawcett. Date: 2/02/2005.
  • Smith House.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: R McClean. Date: 29/05/2002.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2967 Date Entered 2nd April 2004

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the building, its fixtures and fittings, and land on CT MB3B/595

City/District Council

Marlborough District

Region

Marlborough Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 5223 (CT MB3B/595)

Summaryopen/close

A prominent landmark in Picton, the Smith House, is an excellent example of an Italianate style villa. It was built for Mr George Alexander Smith his wife and their 14 children on land they had purchased in Oxford Street in 1875. It appears in early photos of Picton and has always been a prominent landmark of the town.

A discovery, during renovation, of an uncovered weatherboard bearing the signature 'R.A. Storey, 9.30am, 7/12/1886' suggests that the house was completed in the late 1880s. Mr Smith, a builder from Scotland, set up as a builder in Picton in 1872 with Mr Thomas Philpotts after first working as a journeyman. All the timber used by the firm came from a sawmill owned by Mr Smith and Mr Charles Reeves. Many fine Picton buildings, including the hospital, Oxley's Hotel, the Council Chambers, the Anglican Church, were built by George Smith and Co. Mr Smith enjoyed rowing and at one point employed the entire Picton No.1 crew in his businesses, saw to their training, and made sure they had time off for regattas.

Smith Home is a two-storey Italianate villa with Gothic trim. The exterior of the house is clad in 0.3 metre rusticated boards of totara and rimu and the roof is corrugated iron. There are two extensive balconies on the second story and a veranda on the first. It has elaborate panelling both inside and out, deep bay windows, and ornate cornice and skirting work. The stairs leading up to the front door have four impressive lion statues, one on either side at the bottom and at the top of the stairs. When Mrs Margaret Lee restored the exterior of the house in 1978 every panel was replaced in a manner in keeping with the original design of the house. Upstairs there were originally seven bedrooms. Mr and Mrs MacArthur, who brought the home in 1945, ran a boarding house for 3 years, then in the 1950s dived the interior into flats. Mr and Mrs Scheffler carried out further internal alterations in 1989, and again by current owners Richard and Imogen Fawcett in 2002.

From 1945 Mr and Mrs MacArthur ran the house as a boarding house, and in the 1950s they divided the house into 3 separate flats for accommodation. It was then again used as a private house when Mrs Margaret Lee purchased it in 1965, but was returned to accommodation when it was purchased by Mr and Mrs Scheffler in the mid-1980s. Since this time Smith Home's main use has been as accommodation as opposed to a private home, although current owners, Richard and Imogen Fawcett, use the first story of the house as their private living area, with the second story housing 3 separate accommodation apartments. It has had various internal alternations in order to meet needs of changing uses - namely for accommodation purposes. The Smith Home, now called Sennen House, is currently used as luxury apartment accommodation.

Since its construction Smith Home in Oxford Street has been a prominent landmark in Picton. The Smith House has social significance for its connection to Mr Smith, a well-known businessman in early Picton. Smith Home has historical value through its association with Mr Smith and also aesthetic significance as a town landmark. It is of architectural interest as an example of an Italianate style villa.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The Smith Home has historical value through association with a leading member of early Picton society. The house was originally built for Mr George Alexander Smith. Mr Smith was a prominent businessman in early Picton, his business included ownership of a timber yard, sawmills and the processing of joinery.

Smith Home has aesthetic significance. It has been a prominent landmark in Picton since it was built in the late 1880s. The house has architectural value as an expansive and elaborate two-story Italianate villa with Gothic trimming.

e, g

In Picton there is public esteem for Smith Home as a prominent landmark of the town since it was built around the late 1880s. It also has design value in its elaborate panelling both inside and out, bay windows, ornate cornice and skirting work, and in its impressive size.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

Smith Home is a two-storey Italianate villa with Gothic trim. It appears in some early photos of Picton and has always been a prominent landmark in the town. It has elaborate panelling both inside and out, deep bay windows, and ornate cornice and skirting work about 0.48 metres wide. Upstairs there were originally seven bedrooms, however several of these have now been converted into lounges and bathrooms for self-contained apartment accommodation. Downstairs there is the master bedroom, dinning room and kitchen, living room and drawing room. The stairs leading up to the front door have four impressive lion statues, one on either side at the bottom and at the top of the stairs.

Notable Features

Registration includes the building, its fittings and fixtures, and the land on which it rests as comprised in Certificate of Title MN3B/595

Construction Dates

Other
1875 -
Section purchased by G. A. Smith

Original Construction
1880 -
House completed in 1880s

Other
1886 -
R. A. Storey signed and dated weatherboard - suggesting house completed by this date

Other
1945 -
Wash house collapsed and was removed

Modification
1950 -
Major internal alterations to divide house into three flats

Reconstruction
1978 -
Restoration of interior; roof and foundations replaced; scullery on south side removed

Reconstruction
1989 -
Interior restoration continued; changes to internal layout to provide guest accommodation

Modification
2002 -
Further alterations to internal layout to accommodate a third guest apartment

Construction Details

The exterior of the house is made with 0.3 metre rusticated boards of totara and rimu. When the exterior of the house was restored every single panel was replaced, this was done in keeping with the original design of the house. The roof is corrugated iron. There are two extensive balconies on the second story and a veranda on the first story.

Completion Date

7th September 2004

Report Written By

Penelope Laurenson

Information Sources

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

NZHPT File 12013-641

Picton Paper

Picton Paper

28 October 1978

Picton Express, 9 November 1978

Picton Express, 8 April 1987

Marlborough Times

Marlborough Times

Marlborough Times, 28 June 1995

Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the Central Region of the NZHPT.

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.