Historical Significance or Value
The place has strong historical significance for its associations with John Logan Campbell - popularly known as the ‘Father of Auckland’. Campbell founded Auckland’s earliest merchant firm in 1840 and was a pre-eminent individual in the city’s affairs throughout the colonial period. The associations of the place with Campbell are extensive and close: the property was owned by Campbell from 1841 to 1884, and occupied by him for 30 years (1851-81) whenever he was in Auckland. The place has particularly strong significance for its connections with Campbell after his long-term return to New Zealand in 1871, when the surviving remnants of a concrete addition to his residence were erected.
The place has additional significance for its associations with a contributing builder to the 1870-1 extension, the industrialist and entrepreneur C.T. Saxton. Prominent individuals associated with the place prior to 1870-1 include Edward Houghton Bartley, who was the first Speaker of the Province (1853-7) and Legislative Council (1856-68); New Zealand’s first premier, Henry Sewell; and the superintendent of Wellington Province, Dr. I.E. Featherston. The place has historical significance as a reserve that was purchased and gifted to the public by a Mayor of Auckland, Sir Ernest Davis. Davis had previously gifted another place connected with John Logan Campbell’s early life, at Motukorea / Browns Island, in 1954.
The place has broader historical value for its associations with Auckland’s first public land sale, in 1841; the development of Official Bay as a favoured place of residence for Auckland’s early colonial elite; and the area’s connections with national and provincial politics during the early- and mid-colonial period. The place has some historical significance for its connections with major civic projects in Auckland during the first decades of the twentieth century, notably the creation of Anzac Avenue as a major vehicular route during and immediately after the First World War.
The place has some significance for its connections with public debates about cultural heritage in the early twentieth century, notably involving the removal of two oak trees in its grounds; associated demolition of the former General Assembly and Provincial Council building during the construction of Anzac Avenue; and subsequent relocation of Campbell’s earlier residence, Acacia Cottage, in 1920.
Archaeological Significance or Value
The place has archaeological value for its ability to provide evidence about early concrete construction in New Zealand, including material composition, construction methods, structural layout and visual design. It also has significance for its ability to provide information about the development and use of Logan Bank, an important colonial property associated with the ‘Father of Auckland’, John Logan Campbell, between 1841 and 1884. Such information can be obtained through examination of both visible structural remains and in-ground archaeological material.
Architectural Significance or Value
The place has high architectural significance for demonstrating an early stage in the adoption of concrete for house construction in New Zealand, notably as housing for the colonial elite. It reflects the desire of individuals within that elite, such as John Logan Campbell, to engage with up-to-date architectural ideas, including contemporary trends from Europe. The place also reflects the direct involvement of such individuals in the design of their own residences, in turn partly linked to social leadership through a broad engagement with the arts, science and culture.
The place has some architectural significance for its connections with Richard Keals, a notable early architect in Auckland, who oversaw construction of the 1870-1 concrete addition.
Technological Significance or Value
The place has strong technological significance for incorporating the visible remains of what is believed to be the earliest surviving concrete building in the North Island. The remains are also considered to represent the first concrete building erected in Auckland. Concrete became an important construction material in New Zealand, particularly during the twentieth century. The place has particular technological significance for the early use of formwork patented by Joseph Tall, which facilitated the efficient creation of mass concrete walls and was the earliest invention of its type to be widely adopted in Europe.
The place also has technological significance for its associations with the construction of an all-concrete road on Anzac Avenue in 1918-19 - a relatively early example of such construction in this country.
Cultural Significance or Value
The place has strong cultural significance as the place where John Logan Campbell produced the final manuscript of his pioneer reminiscences, Poenamo, regarded after its publication in 1881 as a colonial classic. The cultural significance of the place is enhanced by its connections with the internationally known British author, Anthony Trollope, who stayed and wrote at Logan Bank in 1872, and who subsequently published an account of his travels as Australia and New Zealand (1873).
The place also has cultural significance for its associations with the sculptor and painter Frank Connelly, who exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1871; and the significant Auckland benefactor, James Mackelvie. Mackelvie was responsible for ensuring that Campbell’s plans for the 1870-1 extension were adhered to, and went on to leave a substantial art collection and fortune to the Mackelvie Trust, which continues to purchase works of art on behalf of Auckland’s public.
Social Significance or Value
The place has social significance for its associations with the creation of Anzac Avenue, named in 1916 as a memorial to soldiers who had died at Gallipoli.
(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history
The place reflects direct cultural and trading connections between New Zealand and Europe in the colonial period. The 1870-1 concrete structure, in particular, was constructed using formwork and expertise from Britain; demonstrates architectural and technological ideas derived from Europe; and physically incorporates Portland cement imported from overseas. The use of such connections for the construction of an elite residence reflects the wealth of some members of the business community during the colonial period. It also demonstrates notions of innovation and ‘progress’ by members of this group, as well as the strong cultural ties with Europe that they drew on to reinforce their status.
The place reflects the development of Official Bay as a favoured place of residence for Auckland’s early colonial elite; and the area’s on-going connections with colonial political activity. It also demonstrates the existence of large civic infrastructure projects in early twentieth-century Auckland, notably through the use of part of Logan Bank to create Anzac Avenue as a major arterial thoroughfare. The naming of Anzac Avenue in 1916 at the time of the road’s creation reflects the strength of national sentiment during the First World War.
The place reflects public benevolence by prominent members of the business and political community in mid- twentieth century New Zealand through its donation as a reserve in 1960 by Sir Ernest Davis.
(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history
The place has significance for the length and closeness of its associations with John Logan Campbell, the ‘Father of Auckland’. Campbell witnessed the formal establishment of Auckland in 1840 and co-founded the first merchant enterprise in the settlement - now New Zealand’s main financial and commercial centre, and the country’s largest and most populous city. Campbell was a pre-eminent individual in the city’s affairs throughout most of the colonial period, being at varying times a Superintendent of the Province; a member of New Zealand’s first stable, responsible political ministry; one of the wealthiest businessmen in the region; a knight of the realm, a major public benefactor, and a city patriarch. His connection with Logan Bank is visibly demonstrated by the survival of parts of his residence and garden, notably those elements erected of concrete. The latter mark his return to live in New Zealand, and underline several aspects of his identity, including his role as an innovator and pioneer; his status within Auckland’s social and business elite; and his reputation as a widely-travelled and ‘civilised’ European gentleman.
The place also has significance for its connections with contributors to cultural and artistic life in the colonial period. These encompass Campbell himself, who undertook the final revision of Poenamo at Logan Bank in the late 1870s; and who also founded the Campbell (later Elam) School of Art while living at the residence. They also include one of the major literary voices of the mid-Victorian age, Anthony Trollope, who stayed briefly at Logan Bank in 1872; the sculptor and painter Frank Connelly, who also stayed at Logan Bank in the 1870s and whose work was exhibited in the building; and James Mackelvie, who donated works of art and funds for the Mackelvie Trust.
The place additionally has connections with the builder C.T. Saxton, who went on to found a notable industrial enterprise in Pyrmont, Sydney - later known as Saxton and Binns; and several members of New Zealand’s social and political elite.
Other associations include the place’s connections with Auckland’s first public land sale in 1841, which fetched prices unprecedented for Crown auctions of colonial lands in the British Empire.
(c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history
The place has considerable potential to provide knowledge about early concrete construction in New Zealand, and especially the use of concrete for the construction of residences of the colonial elite. The place retains evidence of early concrete composition; construction methods; structural design and decor. It has the potential to provide evidence about Tall’s re-usable formwork, an important early technology to facilitate the erection of mass concrete walling. Significance is enhanced by the existence of a wealth of related documentary information, which can assist the interpretation and presentation of archaeological evidence.
The place may also provide knowledge of residential occupation extending back to the 1840s, and possibly earlier.
(f) The potential of the place for public education
The place has high potential for public education about New Zealand’s past for being located in a publicly-owned reserve in central Auckland; incorporating visible archaeological remains that relate both to important developments in building technology and a seminal figure in Auckland’s colonial development; and being capable of providing information to the public through archaeological interpretation and by drawing on a public archive said to be ‘probably…the largest and most valuable single private manuscript collection in New Zealand for any nineteenth-century figure’.
As a rare public place in the inner city with tangible connections to the first land sales by the Crown in 1841, it has particular potential to provide public education about the initial founding and development of Auckland as a colonial settlement. It also has potential to provide education about earlier occupation of the area; as well as the development and use of concrete in the North Island, including its early development for housing and, later, roads.
(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place
The place has considerable significance for incorporating the visible remains of the earliest concrete building in Auckland, and what is believed to be the earliest surviving concrete building in the North Island. The remnants retain evidence of the technology employed to erect the structure, including formwork that is likely to be an early - possibly the earliest - use of Joseph Tall’s apparatus in this country. Tall’s re-usable formwork facilitated the efficient erection of mass concrete walls, and - according to nineteenth-century British sources - was the first patented invention of its type in the world to come into general use. The technical significance of the place is enhanced by it encompassing part of Anzac Avenue, an all-concrete road laid in 1918-19 that was itself a relatively early example of such construction in this country.
(h) The symbolic or commemorative value of the place
The place has some commemorative value for its connections with the creation of Anzac Avenue. Commenced during the First World War, Anzac Avenue was named in 1916 to commemorate soldiers who had fallen at Gallipoli.
(i) The importance of identifying historic places known to date from early periods of New Zealand settlement
The place represents an uncommon surviving site in central Auckland that may retain material dating to the early 1840s, and which incorporates a standing structure that is directly linked through ownership and use to a property acquired at Auckland’s first public land sale in 1841.
(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape
The place has considerable value for being part of an important landscape at the northern end of the Symonds Street ridge, which formed the epicentre of political and military power in early colonial New Zealand, and which continued to have elite connotations for a considerable period afterwards. Early remnants of this landscape include the former Government House, the Albert Barracks Wall and St Andrew’s Church, together with the site of General Assembly and Provincial Chambers building. Subsequent structures include the former Supreme Court. The remains of Logan Bank are important for demonstrating the presence of elite residences in the neighbourhood, notably during the early and mid-colonial period; and form a particularly rare survival of such dwellings in Official Bay.
The place also makes some contribution to a significant early twentieth-century landscape on Anzac Avenue, which demonstrates the re-shaping of parts of Auckland at this time and the commercial prosperity of the period.
The place also lies within a landscape that was extensively occupied by Maori before 1840.
Early history of the site
The site lies within a landscape that was extensively occupied by Maori before 1840. Located close to the early shoreline of the Waitemata Harbour, the place is situated on sloping ground that once led down to low cliffs at the water’s edge. The site may have lain inside or near a defended settlement at Te Reuroa, which is likely to have crowned a promontory to the south. Another pa, Tangihangapukaea (also known as Te Rerengaoraiti), was located on high ground to the north. The latter is said to have been inhabited by the Ngati Rauiti hapu of Waiohua before being captured by Ngati Whatua under Kawharu. An associated canoe landing site known as Te Hororoa or Te Ahurutanga was situated on the shoreline to the east of the pa.
A small bay (later known as Official Bay) between the two pa sites formed the outlet of a stream known as Waiariki. Although the surrounding area was temporarily abandoned by Ngati Whatua during the Musket Wars, the presence of this resource evidently encouraged a seasonal return in the late 1830s to grow potato, kumara and peaches. This occurred at a time when food was being cultivated to supply the increasing number of Pakeha visiting the Waitemata Harbour. A grove of peach trees is said to have existed close to the location of the current High Court.
In September 1840, Ngati Whatua’s offer to transfer a large area of land to the British Crown for the creation of a colonial capital at Auckland was formally agreed. After an initial town survey undertaken by Felton Mathew, the site occupied by Logan Bank formed part of a quarter acre block known as Allotment 11 Section 8. In April 1841, the Crown sold this allotment during the first land sale of town sections in the new settlement. The purchaser was a well-connected young merchant, Dr John Logan Campbell (1817-1912).
Campbell became a pioneering figure in Auckland’s colonial history, and was later known as the ‘Father of Auckland’. Born in Scotland, he was the only son of an Edinburgh medical doctor and the grandson of the fourth baronet of Aberuchill and Kilbryde. He arrived in the Waitemata Harbour in 1840, witnessing the raising of the British flag at Tangihangapukaea / Fort Britomart, which marked Auckland’s official establishment. Along with a business partner, William Brown, he created Auckland's first merchant firm, Brown and Campbell, when he pitched a tent in the fledgling settlement in December 1840.
Campbell initially purchased the site of Logan Bank as an investment on his father’s behalf. The cost was higher than the average price at the first sale, which is itself said to have been without precedent in Crown auctions of colonial lands in the British Empire. The site was considered a desirable one: Official Bay had a reputation for social exclusivity as a residential area for government officials. Campbell purchased another section, with Brown, in Shortland Street for the construction of their first permanent dwelling, Acacia Cottage, and business premises.
Initial construction and use of Logan Bank (1842-1870)
Campbell erected a four-roomed, timber cottage at Logan Bank in 1842. The new residence was considered by Campbell’s parents to be a future home should they emigrate from Scotland. It may have soon been enlarged. In December 1843, the building was offered for sale or lease as a ‘comfortable and well-finished six-roomed Verandah Cottage’ on a property that was ‘capable of being laid out in a garden of the most tasteful description…’ Its situation was referred to as ‘one of the most beautiful and picturesque Water Frontages in all Auckland…’
The prestigious location of Logan Bank is emphasised by the social stature of its tenant between 1843 and 1851, the barrister and politician Edward Houghton Bartley (1798-1878). Bartley was the leading lawyer in Auckland for many years and became a notable politician after the creation of New Zealand’s first parliamentary system under the 1852 Constitution Act. He achieved particular prominence as the first Speaker of the Province (1853-7) and of the Legislative Council (1856-68). His family, who also occupied Logan Bank, included a daughter Mary, who was to marry the serving Premier, E.W. Stafford in 1859.
From 1851, Campbell himself occupied the property. He commissioned the construction of a large, two-storey wing from an Auckland builder, and personally undertook much of the finishing work and joinery over the next two years. Campbell is also said to have involved himself in every aspect of the initial design and construction. For the next three decades the property was his home whenever he was in Auckland.
By 1855, Campbell’s mercantile success was such that his personal fortune amounted to an estimated £55,000. He entered politics, serving as provincial superintendent and a member of the House of Representatives (1855-6), and also briefly as a member of Stafford’s ministry (1856) – said to have been the first stable, responsible ministry in New Zealand’s history. By this time, Logan Bank neighboured the General Assembly and Provincial Council building, which had been erected to the south of Eden (now Parliament) Street in 1854. Numerous prominent figures were invited to stay or attend events at Logan Bank, including New Zealand’s first premier, Henry Sewell (1807-79), and the superintendent of Wellington province, Dr I.E. Featherston (1813-76).
Between 1856 and 1871 Campbell travelled overseas, during which period Logan Bank was tenanted by the manager of Brown and Campbell. For a brief period in 1860-1, Campbell returned to Logan Bank with his new wife Emma Cracroft Wilson (1835-1912) and daughter Ida to restructure his business interests. In the late 1860s, Campbell determined that a more permanent return to Auckland was required. He once again planned major extensions to Logan Bank, on this occasion using the latest in European technology.
Construction of concrete addition (1870-1)
In 1870-1, Campbell undertook the construction of a large concrete addition, described at the time as ‘the pioneer of its kind in this part of the globe’. This extension was the first building of this material to be erected in Auckland, and represented an early use of concrete for large-scale residential construction nationally. The enlarged house was to be a family home, suitable for accommodating Campbell’s wife and children, including another daughter, Winifred. Its creation reflected a pivotal point in Campbell’s life, marking his long-term return to New Zealand.
Campbell had become aware of the increasing use of concrete for building construction during his stay in Europe. The material was promoted for its perceived strength, durability, cheapness, hygienic and weatherproof qualities, and fireproof nature. Its popularity gained momentum after 1865 when Joseph Tall patented a re-usable formwork apparatus that facilitated the efficient erection of mass concrete walls. This invention was referred to as ‘the first concrete appliances patented and brought into general use’. It comprised movable pairs of uprights, 18-inch horizontal panels of various lengths, and connecting bolts and thumbscrews that collectively retained concrete while it hardened. Tall’s equipment was popularised by the French Emperor, Napoleon III, who was awarded a gold medal at the 1867 Paris Exhibition for houses built using the apparatus. Campbell was to obtain two sets of the equipment for the extension to Logan Bank.
Campbell’s use of concrete was widely seen as innovative in New Zealand. Minor quantities of cement had been imported into the colony from 1843, and settlers evidently used the new material to build structures from the 1850s onwards. By early 1852 a cottage of so-called concrete was in the final stages of completion in Lyttelton, while a decade later John Gow’s impressive two storey farmhouse was erected at Invermay, near Mosgiel. Although concrete was increasingly used for small rural structures in the 1860s, notably in the South Island, it appears not to have been more widely used for prestigious residential projects and other large works until the following decade. Prior to the construction of Logan Bank, the use of structural concrete in the Auckland region was generally confined to foundation work. Brown and Campbell had themselves used it as foundations for their stamper battery at Tararu in 1869.
Campbell’s employment of concrete for the addition at Logan Bank emphasised several aspects of his identity. These included his role as an innovator and pioneer; his status within Auckland’s social and business elite; and his reputation as a widely-travelled and ‘civilised’ European gentleman.
Campbell designed the new extension to Logan Bank himself, producing detailed plans. The noted Auckland architect, Richard Keals, was employed to oversee construction. Keals was a prolific designer of commercial buildings, who had also supervised the erection of the Bank of New Zealand in Queen Street (1867). Keals was familiar with concrete, having previously employed the material in the foundations of his designs at the Lewis Brothers Warehouse on Albert Street (1865) and Gilfillans Store in Queen Street (1865). Brown and Campbell’s manager, James Mackelvie, was also involved, having been instructed that Campbell’s plans were ‘not to be deviated from in any essential particular’. Mackelvie later bequeathed a large art collection and fortune - used for the Mackelvie extension to the Auckland City Art Gallery in 1893 and on-going public purchase - which Campbell helped to administer as a trustee.
The Logan Bank extension was predominantly built between September 1870 and March 1871. It was erected on the site of the 1842-3 portion of the residence, which was dismantled. Of Italianate design, the new element was to contain five rooms on the ground floor and three rooms upstairs. The rear part of the downstairs area incorporated servants’ quarters and was floored with concrete. The roof was to be covered with slate.
The main foundations and walls were erected by a stonemason, James Read. Read had previously erected concrete buildings in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and was brought over from England specifically for the purpose, accompanied by Tall’s formwork and some 30 tons of ‘the finest Portland cement’. Imported elements were supplemented by local materials, including shingle from Waiheke Island and scoria from Mount Eden. The walls incorporated several fireplaces, and speaking tubes that obviated the need for bell-pulls, allowing ‘commands to the servants’ to be given directly. General work was carried out by ‘Mr Sexton, builder and contractor, Remuera’ - probably Charles Thomas Saxton, who later ran a building and supplies firm in Newmarket and went on to found a major sawmilling enterprise in Pyrmont, Sydney. Campbell himself supervised the finishing of the interior.
Work also appears to have included concrete terraces and steps as part of a remodelling of the grounds. Nearby concrete stables exhibited a plaque depicting St Michael overcoming the devil, said to represent the building’s ability to resist fire.
Subsequent use and modification
Campbell’s reoccupation of the house between 1871 and 1880 coincided with an important period in his life. He took complete control of his business affairs, buying Brown out of their long-standing partnership and branching out in new commercial directions such as brewing and timber milling. He also reinforced his position among Auckland’s elite by serving on boards that controlled notable companies, financial institutions, non-political organs of local government, and artistic and scientific organisations. He gained a literary reputation in his own right after his pioneer reminiscences, published as Poenamo in 1881, were acclaimed as a colonial classic. The final draft of this manuscript was produced at Logan Bank from 1875 onwards.
Campbell’s connections with the arts extended to his associations with significant literary figures and artists. In September-October 1872, Campbell hosted the British writer Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) and his wife Rose at Logan Bank while they were on a two-year tour of the Australasian colonies. As the popular author of a prodigious output that included the Chronicles of Barsetshire, Trollope was one of the major literary voices of the mid-Victorian age. During his stay at the house, Trollope wrote according to his usual daily routine in a study set aside by Campbell. Trollope subsequently published an account of his travels in Australia and New Zealand (1873).
Another visitor was the sculptor and painter, Frank Connelly (1841-1932), whose work had included busts of members of the British aristocracy exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1871. Campbell held a showing of Connelly’s work at Logan Bank shortly before the latter’s departure in June 1878. Connelly’s presence is considered to have led Campbell to found Auckland’s first school of art, the Campbell Free (later Elam) School of Art, in the same year.
Campbell remained at Logan Bank until late 1880, although his family returned to Europe in 1876 for his daughters’ education. After the death of daughter Ida, they collectively moved into a grander residence at Kilbryde, Parnell in 1881 - again largely designed by Campbell. By this time, reclamation of Auckland harbour had removed Logan Bank’s direct connection with the waterfront, and also affected its view. Emma Campbell opposed the move, writing to her husband that ‘You actually cheat yr own family out of a concrete house and put us into brick’.
Logan Bank’s addition had influenced the creation of other concrete structures in Auckland, including a Kerosene Bonded Store erected by James Read in Mechanics Bay (1871). Grander buildings encompassed a crenelated tower addition to Josiah Firth’s ‘Clifton’ (1871-3) and the Auckland Congregational Church (1874-6). However, the cost of imported Portland cement proved a major disincentive to more widespread adoption, and it was not until the more extensive commercial production of local hydraulic lime from Warkworth that a greater number of concrete dwellings were erected in the region.
Campbell retained ownership of Logan Bank until 1884. During part of the intervening period, the residence was used as consulting rooms by a doctor and surgeon, Dr Grant. The property was subsequently occupied for several years by Mrs Banks, who advertised with regular frequency for domestic help. This included nursemaids and a companion to an invalid child.
Between 1884 and 1895, the property was owned by Thomas Edward Fitzgerald. From at least 1890 it appears to have been used as a boarding house, increasing from a ten-roomed residence in May of that year, to a twelve-roomed structure in 1892. The property is likely to have been similarly used after its purchase by Helen Baird, a widow of Otahuhu, in 1895. In 1902, additions and other works were carried out under the supervision of architectural firm, Richard Keals and Sons.
Partial demolition of Logan Bank and the creation of Anzac Avenue (1917-19)
Further changes to Auckland’s waterfront area caused the partial demolition of Logan Bank in 1917-18. Large-scale improvements to the port encouraged the creation of a new road outlet from the city which involved the major widening of Jermyn Street. Supporters of this large civic project invoked the pioneering spirit of Logan Campbell. Campbell had been knighted in 1902 and died ten years later. His funeral cortege in June 1912 was the largest in Auckland’s history.
Demolition work at Logan Bank followed the transfer of the property to the Crown in 1914. In October 1917, the city engineer instructed that walls on the southwest side of the building were to be left as high as the future level of the road ‘so as to give support to the filling’. Much of the building was advertised for removal, although solid walls were to remain. Timber sashes, doors and windows were offered for sale in January 1918.
The west wall of the 1870-1 structure was incorporated into a revetment for the new road, which had been renamed Anzac Avenue in December 1916 as a ‘memorial to the brave men who had died at Gallipoli’. Other parts of the revetment on the Logan Bank site were created using concrete fragments from the demolished building. Anzac Avenue was laid as an all-concrete road in 1918-19, a relatively early example of such construction in this country. New Zealand’s first major concrete road scheme had begun in Auckland in 1916, shortly after similar developments in Australia – itself said to have been one of the first countries outside the United States of America to adopt concrete as a road material. Concrete was also used for many of the buildings that lined Anzac Avenue after completion of the works, reflecting an increasing acceptance of this material for commercial, industrial and public buildings.
The creation of Anzac Avenue involved the destruction of many remnants of Auckland’s colonial heritage. In November 1917, a civic reception was held at the former Parliament Buildings ‘to mark the approaching demolition of these historic buildings’. Public concern was also expressed about the fate of two old oak trees in the grounds of Logan Bank, one of which was said to have been planted by Anthony Trollope. After one tree blew down, the second was removed. The following year (1920), Campbell’s first permanent dwelling, Acacia Cottage, was relocated from O’Connell Street to Cornwall Park to save it from destruction. In contrast, Campbell’s last home, Kilbryde, was demolished by Auckland Council in 1924 as it ‘had no use in a public park’.
Ernest Davis Lookout (1960 onwards)
After the completion of Anzac Avenue, properties that the Council had purchased alongside the route were subdivided and sold. The new lot on which the main part of Logan Bank was situated passed through several owners, but remained undeveloped.
In 1960, the land was purchased as a gift to the city by Sir Ernest Hyam Davis (1872-1962). Davis was a prominent brewer, local politician and philanthropist who had been Mayor of Newmarket (1909-10), a City Councillor (1915-23) and Mayor of Auckland (1935-41). He was also a member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), which is said to have prevailed on him to gift the land so that a view of the harbour from its club rooms on the opposite side of Anzac Avenue would remain unimpeded. The Deed of Gift to the Council stated that no buildings were to be erected. Davis had previously gifted Motukorea / Brown’s Island - Campbell’s first home after arriving in the Waitemata - to the Council. Sometime after October 1965, surviving house walls belonging to Logan Bank other than those retaining Anzac Avenue were demolished as they were considered unsafe.
The land has since remained a reserve. It has been subject to land slips, requiring revetment in places. In 2010, concrete garden steps and an associated wall were destroyed after such a slippage. Concrete buttresses have been added to support the 1870-1 retaining wall to Anzac Avenue. The site remains in public ownership (2014).
Logan Bank is situated in the eastern part of Auckland’s Central Business District (CBD) on Anzac Avenue, a route connecting the Auckland waterfront area and the Symonds Street ridge. The site occupies the northeast corner of the junction between Anzac Avenue and Parliament Street. Parliament Street at this point forms a pedestrian staircase that runs along the southern side of the site to Beach Road. The staircase is of early twentieth-century design, incorporating basalt walls and terracing. It separates the site from the Station Hotel (erected 1930; Register no. 657, Category 2 historic place), which has its main frontage to Beach Road.
A number of other formally recognised historic places are located nearby. Some were in use at the time that Logan Bank was occupied by John Logan Campbell. These include the High Court Building (former Supreme Court, erected 1865-8; Register no. 17, Category 1 historic place); St Andrew’s Church (1847-50; Register no. 20, Category 1 historic place); Old Government House (1855-6; Register no. 105, Category 1 historic place) and Bella Vista (c.1862-4; scheduled Category A by Auckland Council). Others were created at a similar time to the construction of Anzac Avenue, notably Corner Courtville (1919; Register no. 2624, Category 1 historic place) and Middle Courtville (1914-15; Register no. 4487, Category 1 historic place) at the western end of Parliament Street. Parliament Street also contains Braemar (Register no. 4932, Category 2 historic place), Westminster Court (1934; scheduled Category B by Auckland Council) and Windsor Towers (c.1926; scheduled Category B by Auckland Council). The Berrisville Flats (late 1930s; Register no. 554; Category 2 historic place) are located at the junction between Anzac Avenue and Constitution Hill.
More generally, Anzac Avenue retains a large number of buildings dating to the 1920s and 1930s. Part of the site of the former General Assembly and Provincial Building also still survives at the southwest junction of Anzac Avenue and Parliament Street.
The site of Logan Bank occupies a recreation reserve that is rectangular in plan. The reserve is flat at its west end but slopes down steeply to the east. In places, modern revetments have been inserted to retain land exposed by successive land slips. The flat ground contains archaeological deposits linked with the construction of Logan Bank. Visible remains include concrete garden terracing and steps near the northeast corner of the site. More recent features include a flat concrete pad in the northern part of the site and an access path to the south.
The site also encompasses a small area of adjoining road reserve on Anzac Avenue. The latter overlies a large 1870-1 concrete wall, which currently retains the eastern side of the road reserve. It also overlies a likely nineteenth-century retaining wall that was associated with the use of Logan Bank. The 1870-1 concrete wall currently retains Anzac Avenue and is visible from the recreation reserve. Another section of the revetment to the south has been constructed from large fragments of concrete derived from the 1870-1 structure. A mass concrete revetment towards the north end of the site is more recent in date.
Visible and in-ground remnants
1) West wall of Logan Bank
The west wall of the 1870-1 concrete extension survives to a height that includes the lower part of the upper storey wall. It probably represents a part of Logan Bank that contained servants’ quarters. Parts of the north and south returns of the wall are visible for a short distance near the base of the structure. The returns are some 360 mm wide, and include evidence of external decor in the form of ashlar-scored cement. In places, internal cement render also survives.
The visible surface of the main wall represents the inner face of the 1870-1 structure. It contains two apertures or recesses that had timber lintels. The wall also retains evidence for the position of joists for the ground-floor ceiling and what may be a vertical speaking tube. Where render no longer survives, evidence of construction methods can be seen: formwork impressions and pour-lines are visible. Details of concrete composition include the nature and density of the aggregate used.
Three later concrete buttresses support the road revetment. Two of these have been placed over the bases of the earlier return walls.
2) Revetment Wall
A tall revetment wall retaining Anzac Avenue to the south of the 1870-1 structure has been built of irregular blocks derived from the concrete building. These concrete fragments are between 360 and 460 mm thick. Some have cement render on both sides. External render is indicated by ashlar-scoring. A few fragments contain more elaborate render detailing, probably representing exterior decoration.
3) Garden revetment and staircase
Visible garden features include the northern part of a concrete terrace wall in the northeast part of the site. The wall once separated the main house and associated elements in the upper part of Logan Bank from the garden in the lower part of the site. The upper inner face of the wall retains traces of cement render.
A short, decorative pillar survives immediately to the east of the terrace, having evidently toppled from the top of the wall. One of five such pillars that once existed along the length of the terrace wall, this is also of concrete and has a render covering. The surviving pillar contains metal loops just below the capping. These probably originally held a linking chain.
Concrete steps forming a circular staircase at the north end of the terrace wall are also preserved. The external face of the staircase has a cement render.
Other remnants that survived until recently included a wide staircase with a flanking, stepped wall, which once connected the upper terrace on which the house was located with the lower terraced area. This was affected by a landslip and no longer exists. The position of the flanking wall, however, is marked by a sharp edge in the surviving ground surface.
4) In-ground remains
Test pits dug in 2012 confirmed the survival of the foundations and lower parts of the above-ground walls of the 1870-1 concrete addition. The walls are situated just below the surface of the grassed area in the upper part of the recreation reserve. Part of the original concrete floor in the western part of the addition is considered likely to remain, together with evidence linked with wooden floors in the eastern part of the structure.
An earthen bank covers the site of an outhouse to the south of the 1870-1 addition. Remains linked to this structure may be preserved. Archaeological material connected with the 1851-3 timber part of Logan Bank may also survive in the northern part of the site, although this area has been at least partly modified by the construction of a concrete crane pad in recent times.
It is also considered probable that a tall retaining wall to Jermyn Street survives beneath at least part of the current pavement of Anzac Avenue. Material linked with the demolition of Logan Bank is likely to exist between this feature and the west wall of the 1870-1 concrete addition, and probably elsewhere on the site including the northeast corner.
No in-ground remnants survive in the southeast part of the site, which has been subject to considerable land slippage.
It is currently unclear if any material linked with earlier, Maori occupation on the site, or in the vicinity, might survive.
i) Early surviving concrete structures
The earliest evidence of concrete still visible in New Zealand may be the remains of a circa 1857 retaining wall at Fyffe House, Kaikoura (Register no. 236, Category 1 historic place). The oldest extant concrete building of known date is a two storey house (1862) erected at Invermay, Mosgiel for John Gow (Register no. 2350, Category 1 historic place). Musterers’ quarters (not registered), on Lake Coleridge station, mid-Canterbury are said to have been built a year earlier. Concrete stables constructed by Alexander Campbell near Outram (not registered) also date from the 1860s, a decade which saw concrete used in floors, yards, gutters and channels in various rural buildings. The earliest surviving substantial concrete farm buildings are those designed in 1870 for James Shand’s Abbotsford property near Outram (Register no. 7579, Category 1 historic place), which include stabling, men’s quarters and an implement shed. An important large-scale building erected soon after Logan Bank is Josiah Firth’s concrete addition to his residence, Clifton, in Remuera (1871-3; Register no. 2623, Category 1 historic place), which took the form of a four-storey Gothic-Revival style tower. Another large structure, the west wing of the Sunnyside Mental Asylum, Christchurch (1871-4), has been demolished.
Most other known surviving concrete buildings in New Zealand date to the mid-1870s or later. They include other structures associated with Josiah Firth in the North Island, such as St James Presbyterian Church, Auckland (Register no. 642, Category I historic place) constructed for the Congregationalists in 1874-6, and the 1882 tower at Matamata (Register no. 754, Category 1 historic place). Apart from the Congregationalist Church, other early existing North Island structures include Goldies Brae in Wadestown (Register no. 216, Category 1 historic place), erected in 1876, and a concrete shaft for the Valve House (Register no. 7750, Category 1 historic place) of the Lower Karori Dam in Wellington, which was evidently designed in 1875 and constructed prior to 1878.
No standing, concrete building remnants pre-dating Logan Bank are currently believed to survive in the North Island.
Logan Bank also incorporates the remnants of one of the earliest existing examples of domestic construction in concrete nationally. The Gow house (1862) is the earliest residential example currently known. Rural workers’ quarters constructed of concrete in the 1860s and 1870 were used for housing seasonal labourers, and as staff accommodation were not formally domestic in nature. Donald McLean’s homestead Strathconan near Fairlie (Register no. 1970, Category 2 historic place), also commenced in 1871 was not completed until 1877. A two-unit concrete cottage at Kaikoura, surviving as part of the Elms Farm Complex (Register no. 7693, Category 2 historic place), dates from 1875, the year that the gatehouse Corwar Lodge (not registered) was built near Barrhill in mid-Canterbury. Also constructed in 1875 was Lakeside House, Leeston (Register no. 5471, Category 2 historic place) a building finished with Carpenter Gothic trimmings; and concrete additions to the homestead at Blue Cliffs Station (Register no. 7691, Category 2 historic place), both in Canterbury. Several other residences survive from 1876 and later.
ii) Places associated with John Logan Campbell
Surviving structures associated with John Logan Campbell include his first permanent dwelling in Auckland, Acacia Cottage (1841; Register no. 525, Category 1 historic place), which was relocated to Cornwall Park in 1920. Other places in Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain linked with Campbell include the One Tree Hill Obelisk (1939-40; Register no. 4601, Category 1 historic place) and John Logan Campbell Monument (1906; Register no. 4478; Category 2 historic place).
Campbell’s last home, Kilbryde, was demolished in 1924. Logan Bank is the only one of Campbell’s residences that survives as standing remnants in its original location, and the only one that retains its original relationship with the historic core of colonial Auckland, which he helped to establish and develop.
Original construction of four-roomed cottage
Possible modification of 1842 structure to create six rooms
1851 - 1853
Two-storey addition on north side
Demolished - Redevelopment
Demolition of 1842-3 cottage
1870 - 1871
Original construction of large concrete addition on site of 1842-3 cottage, with concrete garden terracing and steps
1917 - 1918
Conversion of west wall of house to create a revetment for Anzac Avenue; partial demolition of 1870-1 concrete addition; and probable construction of retaining wall using concrete fragments from the 1870-1 structure
1918 - 1919
Construction of concrete road on Anzac Avenue
Further demolition of parts of 1870-1 concrete addition
Removal of garden steps and wall
Public NZAA Number
11th June 2014
Report Written By
R. C. J. Stone, Young Logan Campbell, Auckland, 1982
R. C. J Stone, The Father and his Gift: John Logan Campbell's Later Years, Auckland, 1987
Geoffrey Thornton, Cast in Concrete: Concrete Construction in New Zealand 1850-1939, Auckland, 1996
R.C.J. Stone, From Tamaki-Makau-Rau to Auckland, Auckland, 2001
Potter, Thomas, Concrete: its use in building and the construction of concrete walls, floors, roofs, etc., London, 1894
Stone, R.C.J., Logan Campbell’s Auckland: Tales from the Early Years, Auckland, 2007
A fully referenced report is available from the Mid-Northern Office of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
This place has been identified in other heritage listings. The reference is Auckland Council Cultural Heritage Inventory Computer Number 10022, “Logan Bank”.
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.