Esplanade Hotel

2 Victoria Road, Devonport, North Shore

  • Esplanade Hotel, Devonport. CC Licence 2.0 Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: denisbin. Taken By: denisbin. Date: 5/06/2012.
  • Esplanade Hotel, Devonport. CC Licence 2.0 Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Rebecca Leathem. Taken By: Rebecca Leathem. Date: 14/04/2011.
  • Esplanade Hotel, Devonport. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 5/09/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4481 Date Entered 15th February 1990

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Auckland Council (North Shore City Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

Pt DP 5273-Esplanade Hotel

Summaryopen/close

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.

The Esplanade was built by the Great Northern Brewery Company Limited to replace the Flagstaff, a two-storeyed wooden hotel which had occupied the site for several decades. The building permit was issued in March 1902 and the new building was completed in about nine months at a cost of £7000. Originally called the New Flagstaff, the hotel was renamed the Esplanade by permission of the Waitemata Licencing Committee in June 1903. The first licensee under the new hotel management was Edgar Horace White.

White advertised a 'Modern Hotel furnished in the latest style, 'commanding a full view of the harbour' and suitable for 'Families, Tourists and the Travelling Public generally'. At this period Devonport, which was the terminus of the main road northwards from Auckland city to which it was linked by passenger, and later, vehicular ferries, was expanding rapidly and the waterfront was an extremely popular setting for sports and recreation. The terms 'esplanade', 'parade' and 'strand' contributed to a readily identifiable imitation of the English seaside resorts such as Brighton, Eastbourne or Scarborough.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

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.

The Esplanade hotel has been associated with Devonport's recreation and tourism for over 80 years and is one of the area's best loved buildings. It has been a prominent landmark since its construction.

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.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

During the late Victorian and Edwardian age seaside resorts became popular holiday destinations and large hotels were built along waterfront promenades. The balcony above the entrance, the siting of the lounge to overlook the promenade and the pale-coloured plaster facade were also features of the design of English seaside hotels such as those at Eastbourne and Brighton.

The unusual shape of the plan stems from the shape of the allotment on which the building stands and it makes good use of a corner site to provide picturesque views.

The design of the Esplanade contrasts that of most earlier New Zealand hotels which were built on coach routes to accommodate travellers, not holiday makers. Few large hotels survive from the turn of the century and the fine, ornate facade of the Esplanade is particularly rare.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK VALUE:

The Esplanade occupies a prominent corner site on the Devonport waterfront. It is visible to vessels travelling across the harbour and to shipping coming into the Waitemata from further afield. The facades contribute greatly to the commercial frontage along the western side of Victoria Road.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Bartley, Edward

Edward Bartley was born in Jersey in 1839, and educated in the Channel Islands where he learned techniques of the building trade from his father, an architect and builder.

Bartley immigrated to New Zealand with his elder brother Robert, also an architect, while still in his teens. They eventually settled in Devonport, Auckland. Initially Edward was in the building trade but later he practised solely as an architect. He was at one time vice-president of the Auckland Institute of Architects and was also Diocesan Architect for the Church of England.

Amongst Bartley's most notable works were his ecclesiastical buildings including St John's Church, Ponsonby (1881), St David's Church, Symonds Street (1880), Holy Trinity Church, Devonport, and the Synagogue (1884). He was also responsible for the Opera House (1884) and Auckland Savings Bank, Queen Street (1884).

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

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.

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This refined Edwardian Baroque hotel consists of three separate, slightly projecting pavilions - one main central portion and two wings. The identically ornamental wings of five bays and three bays respectively, closely echo, in decoration and form, the central pavilion.

Prominent features of the building are the heavily ornamented parapets. The central pavilion has cupola-crowned projections flanking a central gable embellished by elaborately decorated plasterwork, including urns. Variations of these motifs are repeated on the other pavilions. Pilasters, plain or fluted, and double-hung sash windows, with keystones or moulding complete the decoration on the upper floors.

On the ground floor, three glazed bays, one with a verandah, are separated by plastered walls rendered to resemble masonry. Above the middle bay is a balcony, now glazed.

MODIFICATIONS:

The building originally had two-storeyed verandahs on each of the three fronts. The verandah on the Victoria Road facade has been entirely removed as has the upper section of the Queens Parade one. The upper part on the splayed-corner between them has been glazed.

Notable Features

Corner site and the unusual shape of the design stemming from the allotment on which it is constructed.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1902 - 1903

Construction Details

Load bearing brick walls; timber roof framing with corrugated iron cladding.

Completion Date

10th October 1989

Information Sources

Auckland Star

Auckland Star

19.9.62

Western Leader

Western Leader

28.2.78, p7

Wises Post Office Directories

Wises Post Office Directories

1904, Pt 1, p39

Musgrove, 1986

Sydney Musgrove (ed), The Hundred of Devonport: A Centennial History, Devonport, 1986.

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 12 July 1932, p. 6; 28 September 1933, p. 6.

5.3.02 and 6.6.03, p6

Devonport Borough Council

Devonport Golden Jubilee Booklet, 1876-1936, Devonport Borough Council, 1936, Auck.Pub.Lib.

New Shore Times Advertiser

New Shore Times Advertiser

29.4.64 and 17.10.74

Other Information

A copy of this report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region Office

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.