Author: Richard Wolfe
Publication date: November 2013
Extent: 192 pp
Illustrations: Black & white and colour photographs
New Zealand has a disappointing record of preserving our oldest and proudest buildings. In this book well known historian Richard Wolfe features 20 notable structures which, for various reasons, no longer exist. Most of the buildings have been demolished in the name of urban development, creating controversy and representing a damning indictment of this country’s sense of heritage. Each building is discussed and illustrated including the circumstances of its demise. The selection includes: Ruapekapeka pa in Northland (burned down deliberately), Admiralty House in Auckland (demolished to make way for new roads) Wellington’s Parliament Buildings (accidental fire) Dunedin’s Seacliff Asylum (fire), TJ Edmonds landmark factory (bulldozed). What emerges is a fascinating social and historical narrative that sheds light on parts of New Zealand’s cultural history and reveals the truth of the old adage that history repeats. Wolfe’s emphasis on the significance of lost architecture presents a powerful appeal for preservation of the important works that remain.