Cambria Park Homestead

252 Puhinui Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

  • Cambria Park Homestead.
    Copyright: Age Concern Counties Manukau Incorporated. Date: 28/06/2007.
  • Cambria Park Homestead.
    Copyright: Age Concern Counties Manukau Incorporated. Date: 28/06/2007.
  • Cambria Park Homestead.
    Copyright: Age Concern Counties Manukau Incorporated. Date: 28/06/2007.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7351 Date Entered 25th October 1996

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Manukau City Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 184348 (CT NA115A/753), North Auckland Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Historical/Social:

In 1879 N. McDonald built a house on the land and developed an orchard. From 1892 until 1942 it was owned and developed by E.A. Price, managing director of Auckland jewellery company, Buchanan & Co., who used Cambria Park as a residence and location for his hobby of horse breeding. In 1942 the land was requisitioned by the government to house some of the US forces based in Auckland. Since the war various parts of the land have been used for quarrying and for various industrial purposes. The homestead still remains and there is community interest regarding its future.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Aesthetic:

Cambria Park Homestead comprises both the house and its garden setting. The garden is well-known for its Camellias, planted in 1910, and mature trees.

Architectural:

The homestead is a large Victorian house built of kauri in 1879. The house is one of the oldest in Papatoetoe. The main (east) elevation reveals a symmetrical double bay villa, with two-storey bays flanking a central porch-verandah. The design of the rear elevation is plain.

Archaeological:

The site has been occupied since the 1870s and therefore has archaeological potential.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The following comments are made in relation to the criteria identified under S.23(2) of the Historic Places Act 1993.

b) The association of the place with events, persons or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

The American occupation of Cambria Park began in February 1943 when construction started on blocks of large kitchens and mess buildings, showers and latrines. Ten of these blocks served ten tented areas. The Public Works Department completed the whole complex within two months of receiving the request. The first troops arrived in Mid April. In total, 13 acres of land was levelled to serve 64 buildings and two miles of tarred roads.

While this was impressive, it should be seen in context. Auckland hosted US armed forces personnel at Mechanics Bay, the Inner Domain, the Outer Domain, Victoria Park, Waikaraka Park, Tamaki, Mangere Crossing, Western Springs Motor Camp, Hobson Park, Cornwall Park, Avondale, Hillcrest, and Sylvia Park. The statistics for the US use of Auckland's spaces were impressive:

By the end of 1943, something like 4,420 buildings of all types with an aggregate floor area of 1,113,316 square feet provided accommodation for approximately 29,500 men. In addition, the three hospitals at Hobson Park, Cornwall Park and, later, Avondale were able to house 4,500 patients in 251 buildings covering 1,005,000 square feet.

There were 174 different store buildings with a total area of 1,733,467 square feet. The total number of buildings erected in the Auckland area for American forces was 4,965, covering a floor area of 3,939, 146 square feet.

(Bevan)

The history of Cambria Park is of interest to Papatoetoe and also has a representative value for the rest of Auckland. The transition from isolated rural settlement in the 1870s to semi-rural retreat and then incorporation into the larger metropolitan area after the Second World War illustrates the transformation of Auckland's rural fringe as urban development spread.

e) The community association with, or public esteem for, the place:

The community association with the house is considerable. The Cambria Park Homestead Steering Committee was formed in 1994 and various measures have been put in place to further consult the public regarding uses for the building, and to find ways and means to upgrade and preserve it.

Conclusion:

Cambria Park Homestead, 20 Puhinui Rd, Papatoetoe, Auckland, is recommended for registration as a Category II as a place of historical and cultural heritage significance and value. The large Victorian two storey bay villa was built in 1879. The house and garden have had various owners and uses over the years including the requisition of the land by the government in 1942 to house some of the US forces based in Auckland. The local community's interest in the building's future is considerable.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1879 -

Information Sources

Smytheman, 1962

Ivy F. Smytheman and Albert E. Tonson, Our First Hundred Years, A Historical Record of Papatoetoe, Papatoetoe, 1962.

Bevan, 1992

D Bevan, United States Forces in New Zealand 1942-1945 , Alexandra (1992)

Other Information

A copy of the original 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.