Quay Street Historic Area
Quay St East, Auckland
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Able to Visit
16th December 1994
Date of Effect
16th December 1994
Extent of List Entry
This area extends along the south side of the original settlement of Quay St East (the area east of Britomart Pl was extended and handed over to the Auckland City Council in 1914.
The area these buildings occupy was first gained in 1874 with the introduction of harbour reclamation and significantly expanded in 1882 when the Government converted land it had reserved in 1874 to railway use. The Auckland Harbour Board was formed in 1871 and reclamation was put into motion when the Auckland Harbour Act (1874) enabled the Board to borrow £150 000 to finance the reclamation of land in the shallow reaches of Commercial Bay. In 1886 when the reclamation was completed, the area of Quay St formed a wide dock running from Breakwater Rd (Britomart Pl) past Queen St to the Harbour Board offices.
The land fronting the Quay and wharfs was made available to heavy industry, engineering, boiler making, shipbuilding and processing. Close proximity to the wharfs was necessary for shipping companies needing to occupy a prominent position and for trading companies requiring storage facilities. The offices and warehouses built from 1898-1907 were built as a direct result of the increased prosperity and shipping trade occurring in Auckland after the depression of the 1880's and 90's.
Historical Significance or Value
This area has important historic associations with the development of Auckland's harbour and commercial centre at the turn of the century. It is a product of Auckland's growth in harbour trade, established after the frozen meat market made New Zealand a viable export country.
The buildings, all constructed within a decade, are of similar scale, construction and architectural detailing and form a coherent group. These are utilitarian brick buildings characterised by arched windows, alternating keystones and little use of ornament. Used predominantly by wharf industries they help preserve the original port character of the area.
Together these buildings make a significant contribution to the streetscape of the port. The scale and character expressed in this group of buildings adds to the quality of the harbour area by maintaining a continuity between the early life on the Quay and the present ports of Auckland.
This group of mostly brick, utilitarian buildings that are all similar in scale and architectural detail represent Auckland's growth in harbour trade around the turn of the century.
Notes from the NZHPT Register Database (not included in the registration report): South side of Quay St East. Buildings include Wharf Police building (Colonial Sugar Company); NZ Harbour Board Employees Union building; Quay building (NZ laundry Co); Union Fish Co. building; Northern Steamship Company building; Endeans building.
28th November 1992
Report Written By
The area extends along the south side of the original segment of Quay St East (the area east of Britomart Pl was extended and handed over to the Auckland City in 1914).
A full registration 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.
Historic Area Place Name
Northern Steamship Company Building
NZ Harbour Board Employees Union Building
Quay Building (NZ Laundry Co.) - 8 Quay St
Union Fish Company Building
Wharf Police Building