56 Stout Street And Whittaker Street, Shannon
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
5th September 1985
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DP 43058 (CT WN14C/160), Wellington Land District, and the building known as House thereon.
Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region
Lot 2 DP 43058 (CT WN14C/160), Wellington Land District
The house at 56 Stout Street in Shannon is an attractive and spacious dwelling built circa 1914 for a successful plumber and his wife on a generous corner section. The house, in all likelihood architect-designed, has architectural significance as a transitional residential design that bridged the closing period of villa architecture and the approaching one heavily influenced by the California bungalow and, to a lesser extent, the English cottage.
Shannon was one of a string of towns founded along the Wellington and Manawatu Railway line, which was completed in 1886. The first land sales occurred in Shannon the following year and the town experienced steady growth based in farming, flax milling, and the construction of the nearby Mangahao power scheme.
A title was issued to Mabel Watterston, a ‘married woman,’ on 21 July 1913 for two lots making up a section at the corner of Whittaker and Stout streets. She was married to Thomas Morris Watterston, who was a plumber with ‘septic tanks and drain-laying a speciality.’ Construction of the house likely occurred in 1914 when the property was involved in a transaction with the ‘State Advances Superintendent.’ The State Advances Corporation had origins in the Government Advances to Settlers Act of 1894, crafted ‘to provide assistance to settlers for the development of their holdings,’ including houses. There is evidence suggesting that the well-known Wellington architecture firm of Crichton & McKay may have designed the house.
A circa 1914 date is also conceivable given its outward appearance, which is best described as transitional. The construction of villas, the mainstay form of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, had effectively ended by this time. In their place were houses influenced by the California bungalow and the English cottage. This house exhibits characteristics of both—the complicated assemblage of roof planes, bays, and window hoods typical of bungalows and the more steeply pitched roofs, simplified gable half-timbering, and small paned sash of cottages. On the interior, even if a centre hall typical of villas remained, the main door opened from an inset front porch into a vestibule area embellished by a trio of windows, which better screened the interior from the entrance.
The Watterstons owned the house until May 1926 when it was sold to the Bank of New Zealand for use as a residence for its Shannon branch manager. A valuation related to the sale noted that the house ‘has evidently been well built and appears to be all Ht. [heart] Timber with no sign of borer anywhere….the situation is good, section dry, and well sheltered.’ The valuation assessed the house, garage, and improvements to the section, such as fencing. From the exterior, the house and grounds remain in excellent condition and are mostly unchanged. There appears to have been a small addition at the rear of the house and the double garage may be a replacement of the earlier one.
The property remained in the hands of the bank until 1978 (a year after the Shannon branch closed), when it was sold to Alan and Myra Perry, who owned it for the next 24 years. As of 2017, it remains in private ownership.
Crichton & McKay
No biography is currently available for this construction professional
Small addition at rear; alterations to chimney; possible new or expanded garage
21st November 2016
Report Written By
James A. Jacobs
Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen
Mew and Humphris, 2014
Geoff Mew and Adrian Humphris, Raupo to Deco: Wellington Styles and Architects, 1840-1940, Steele Roberts Aotearoa, Wellington, 2014.
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 Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.