Auckland Savings Bank (Former)

17 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

  • Auckland Savings Bank (Former). Image courtesy of -
    Copyright: geoff-inOz. Taken By: geoff-inOz. Date: 8/01/2010.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5454 Date Entered 28th November 1992


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 5 Allot 13 Sec 8 Suburbs of Auckland (CT NA576/51), North Auckland Land District, and the building known as Auckland Savings Bank (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 5 Allot 13 Sec 8 Suburbs of Auckland (CT NA576/51) North Auckland Land District


The former Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) branch in Jervois Road, Ponsonby, which opened in 1928, is significant as one of the best-preserved early twentieth-century bank buildings in Auckland. It is also important for the closeness of its associations with the ASB, one of the city’s most notable financial institutions. It has particular historical and architectural value as one of the city branch buildings built by the ASB during a period of expansion during the 1920s and 1930s, and for its distinctive design by significant Auckland architect Daniel Boys Patterson, who designed eight branches for the bank in that period, creating a distinctive ‘brand’ for the bank. Its incorporation of both living and work quarters marked the end of an era for this previously commonplace arrangement. This occurred as the physical separation between domestic quarters and the workplace became more pronounced in early twentieth-century society.

The ASB opened for business in 1847 and has been a major part of Auckland commerce since that date. Following the success of the Savings Bank movement in Europe, the ASB had been founded as a way of encouraging Maori and working-class Aucklanders to develop the habits of thrift and industry. After the death in 1919 of the bank’s long-term architect Edward Bartley, who designed the head office in Queen Street and a number of early branches, Patterson was appointed to replace him, a role he held for more than four decades. The 1920s were significant times of expansion for the bank; in this decade the bank developed its school banking programme, and took over the YMCAs ‘thrift clubs’, collecting money from workers at their work places. In the 1920s, Patterson designed eight branches, many remarkably similar, and went on to design more in later decades. Through the similarity of the design of these eight branches he has been credited with creating a ‘corporate image’ of security, sobriety and permanence.

This branch in Jervois Road, Ponsonby, was the eighth branch of the bank, and the second of Patterson’s new branch buildings. It opened in 1928. The building has a granite base and front of Oamaru stone, with pillars capped with granite, offsetting the brick and plaster building. On the ground floor was a banking chamber entered from Jervois Road, with oak panelling and ornate offices, teller cubicles and strongroom, with the manager’s family’s dining room and kitchen at the rear, accessed from a side entrance. On the top floor were bedrooms and a sitting room for the manager’s family and a sunroom opening onto a flat roof.

Just after this building was completed, the bank’s trustees decided to erect branch buildings without living quarters for the manager. As a result, the new Dominion Road and Symonds Street branches, built only a year later, are only one storey, and yet retain their distinctive similarity to the one in Jervois Road. The appearance of these new branches ‘evoked favourable comments and gave added prestige to their respective localities’.

The Auckland Savings Bank operated from this building, with very few alterations, until its branch operations moved to a different site in Three Lamps in 1992. The building was sold and then used for retail and residential purposes, with only minor alterations, until 2001 when both floors were altered to become a radio studio and offices, although much of the heritage fabric was retained. The building now contains offices; its largely unaltered and distinctive façade make a significant contribution to the streetscape of the historic Ponsonby district.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Patterson, Daniel Boys

Patterson (1880-1962) was born and trained in England. He immigrated to New Zealand about 1910, and became a member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1914. He was senior partner in the firm of D B Patterson, Lewis and Sutcliffe, which was responsible for churches, hotels and commercial buildings throughout the Auckland province, the largest being the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. He died 7 May 1962 aged 82.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1927 - 1928

2001 -
Unspecified alterations comlpeted

Completion Date

26th June 2015

Report Written By

Elizabeth Cox

Information Sources

Auckland Savings Bank, 1947

Auckland Savings Bank, Auckland Savings Bank Centenary, Auckland, 1947

Auckland Star

Auckland Star

Auckland Star, 2 March 1928, p.6.

McLauchlan, 1991

Gordon McLauchlan, The ASB: A Bank and its Community, Mission Bay, 1991

New Zealand Historic Places

New Zealand Historic Places

Lloyd Jenkins, Douglas, ‘Corporate Image’, New Zealand Historic Places, May 1995, No.53, pp.16-18.

New Zealand Herald

11 Nov 1903, p.6.

New Zealand Herald, 10 September 1926, p.11; 3 March 1928, p.8 (illustration); 5 May 2012.

Other Information

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 Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.