Former historic hall converted into residential for sale

After years of careful and dedicated restoration, the former Forresters Hall (Railway Lodge) in Auckland’s Freemans Bay has been listed for sale.

 

Historic hall with Sky Tower in the background and a sign reading
Forresters Hall (Railway Lodge) in Auckland. Photo: Jason Dordayexpand/collapse

A local landmark, the hall was built by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) and later owned by the Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. Located at 5 Renall Street, the two-storied hall occupies a commanding north-facing position that sits slightly elevated on one of Auckland’s unique residential streets.

The hall is Listed as a part of the Renall Street Historic Area on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. An excellent example of a Victorian suburban streetscape, the early development of the area is reflective of the type of mid-19th century housing available to Victorian tradespeople, attracted by employment at the nearby industry of sawmills and shipyards established in the 1850s.

The rapid expansion of Auckland in the late 1870s and residential overcrowding in the city centre, saw the subdivision of smaller lots across Ponsonby. Previously named Dedwood and renamed in 1873, the area is possibly one of the earliest recorded transitions into high density living in Aotearoa. The population of Ponsonby doubled and Ponsonby Road became the epicentre of local commerce, aided by the establishment a tram service from Queen Street in 1884 – one of the first suburban tram services in the country.

The area is possibly one of the earliest recorded transitions into high density living in Aotearoa.
Hall interior with white walls, modern furniture and lots of light.
Hall interior. Photo: Jason Dordayexpand/collapse

Auckland-based Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Senior Conservation Architect, Robin Byron, has provided advice to the current owners of the Hall, Jess Britten and Warren Durling, who have thoughtfully and painstakingly transformed the hall.

Find out more about the Renall Street Historic Area on The New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. The listing with Bayleys real estate provides up to date images and information on the contemporary conversion.

- Antony Phillips

Historic hall with Sky Tower in the background and a sign reading
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