By ANNE GIBSON
The 1861 building known colloquially as the Bluestone Store is a particularly fine example of masonry construction using local volcanic basalt stone.
It is universally acknowledged to be worthy of preservation and particularly significant.
A timber house was probably the first building on this site. The land was first listed by European settlers in 1842 in a crown grant.
Today, the small basalt stone store has been afforded the highest degree of protection by the Historic Places Trust, stating it merits permanent preservation, as well as being the subject of a protection notice issued under the Historic Places Act 1980.
It is also listed as historically significant by Auckland City Council on both its operative and proposed district plans.
Salmond Architects of Devonport prepared a conservation plan on the little building for a previous owner, Mainzeal Group.
The building's history in that plan shows that Levy & Goldwater was the building's first owner.
The scoria building was designed by architect Reader Gilson Wood, born in Leicestershire, England, in 1821.
He emigrated here in 1844, fought in the New Zealand Land Wars and was appointed Colonial Architect in 1849.
In 1865, Levy & Goldwater leased the building to auctioneers Charles Emmison Knapp and Morton Jones for £40 on a 99-year term.
By 1878, confectioner Edward Waters was listed on valuation rolls as the occupier of the building, followed by agricultural merchants Jakins & Wilcox, who advertised in the New Zealand Herald in 1870, selling malting barley, salt, butter, rye grass and bone flour.
New Zealand Insurance bought the stone store in 1882, but sold it four years later to Auckland merchant J. Craig, who owned it until 1919 when he sold it to department store owner John Court.
During Craig's ownership of the building, the lease was taken over by Samuel Carey Brown of the adjacent Brown's Mill, who probably used the building as a storeroom for the coal he used to run his mill's engine.
Between 1911 and 1922, Kempthorne Prosser used the building for manure storage. Then it became a warehouse for John Court's department store. In 1936, it was sold to Kiwi Polish (NZ), who operated a factory and shop from the premises.
In 1963, L.W. Twist bought the building and had his customs agency on the first floor.
He leased the ground floor to Top Twenty Promotions, who put a coffee bar in, then later transformed it the building in 1972 into Granny's Night Club. It was sold to Mainzeal Group in 1988 and is now owned by Tramco/Rheingold.