State Insurance Office Building (Former)
137-143 Lambton Quay And Stout Street, Wellington
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
26th November 1981
Date of Effect
26th November 1981
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 85058 (RT WN53A/209), Wellington Land District and the building known as State Insurance Office Building (Former) thereon.
Lot 1 DP 85058 (RT WN53A/209), Wellington Land District
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
This building is the earliest of the major commercial buildings in Wellington City to show the influence of the modern movement in architecture. Its fine exterior wall and absence of decoration mark the end of historicism in architecture. Located on a corner site, the building's mass and simplicity in design make a very positive statement and provide a superb contrast to the elaborate Edwardian Public Trust Office nearby.
Gummer & Ford
The architectural partnership of Gummer and Ford was established in 1923, and became one of national importance.
William Henry Gummer (1884-1966) was articled to W.A. Holman, an Auckland architect, and was elected as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1910. In the period 1908-1913 he travelled in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. During this time he worked for Sir Edwin Lutyens, leading English architect of the time, and for Daniel Burnham in Chicago. Burnham was a major American architect and one of the founders of the influential Chicago School of Architecture. Gummer joined the firm of Hoggard and Prouse of Auckland and Wellington in 1913. In 1914 he was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, was president of the Institute from 1933-34 and was later elected a life member.
Charles Reginald Ford (1880- 1972) was born in England and served in the Royal Navy. He was later with Captain Scott's 1901-1904 expedition to Antarctica. He trained as an architect working in Wanganui as an engineer. In 1926 he wrote the first treatise on earthquake and
building construction in the English language. Ford was president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects from 1921-22.
Buildings designed by the partnership include the State Insurance Building Wellington, (1940) the Dilworth Building (1926), the Guardian Trust Building and the Domain Wintergardens (1921 and 1928), all in Auckland, and the Dominion Museum (1936) in Wellington. Gummer and Ford were awarded Gold Medals from the New Zealand Institute of Architects for the designs of Auckland Railway Station and Remuera Library.
Gummer was one of the most outstanding architects working in New Zealand in the first half of this century and was responsible for the stylistically and structurally advanced Tauroa (1916), Craggy Range (1919), Arden (1926), and Te Mata (1935) homesteads at Havelock North.
NZHPT Heritage Order (10 December 1987)
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.