Quake-prone Masterton landmark razed

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
1 comment
The building was pulled down because it did not meet earthquake requirements. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
The building was pulled down because it did not meet earthquake requirements. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

One of Masterton's landmark buildings on Chapel St has been demolished because it was earthquake prone.

The brick building on the corner of Chapel and Albert streets, formerly the Adamson Land Surveyors, was torn down yesterday.

Masterton district planner Sue Southey confirmed the privately owned building was not historic.

She said it was being demolished as it did not meet earthquake requirements.

According to Wairarapa archivist Gareth Winter, the building was erected in about 1926 as a building for stock and station agents Wright Stephenson and Co, which already owned a granary in the building behind, in Albert St.

Wright Stephenson continued to own the building even after they shifted their offices to Queen St, where MasterMall is today. The building was let to the Government, which ran part of the Social Security Department out of it.

Mr Winter said it was later occupied by lawyers and accountants, and a variety of other businesses including a cleaning company and a hairdressers.

He said the style of building was called "Moderne", and represented a transition towards art deco, which followed soon after.

In his book Wairarapa Buildings, David Kernohan said it was "of an interesting transitional style", and the use of a parapet above the entryway was an effective way to hide the low-pitched roof.

The 90-year-old building is owned by Chapel Street Investments, which runs under an Auckland based director.

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