One of New Zealand's most historic police buildings is on the market in Wellington.
Located on the edge of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, No.13 Buckle St is up for sale with a buyer enquiry from $2.75 million.
The former Mt Cook Police Station was one of three stations opened in Wellington in 1894 to deal with a growing population and the crime rate to match.
The building is notable for its severe character, which is offset by decorative elements including moulded rosette cornerstones and black-and-white glazed brick bands over the windows.
Just Paterson principal Charles Morley-Hall said the building was iconic in Wellington City for its colourful history, beautiful exterior and unique location.
The property boasts five bedrooms, two bathrooms, two-metre-high double-hung sash windows, and four-metre-high stud ceilings.
Morley-Hall said there were also six original police cells wrapped around a courtyard. There are also three toilets with original porcelain.
"The cells could be used as a wine cellar, storage, boutique accommodation, or perhaps even a naughty room for children."
The building is listed with Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 Historic Place.
"So you can't actually alter the outside of the building or demolish the cells, but interestingly enough you can add to the outside of the building as long as it's a structure that can be removed," Morley-Hall said.
The current owners have gone through a painstaking process to turn what was a commercial building into a warm dry home, he said.
"There's a beautiful kitchen, two amazing bathrooms and the staircase, wow, it's a very elegant staircase."
Morley-Hall said the location was not a traditional residential area, but was close to an "edgy" part of town with the vibrant College St precinct, Cuba Quarter and the waterfront just a short stroll away.
He said it was ideal for buyers not keen on apartments, as the building is freehold, or those who didn't want to be surrounded by other houses, like on Mt Victoria.
The sale is by negotiation.
The building was constructed in 1894 and built by the Prison Department, which supplied labour from local prisons.
The arrow marks that commonly adorned prison bricks can still be seen in the outside walls of the building.
At the time of opening, five constables and one sergeant were based at the station.
In 1898 the building became a central station to train new police recruits until it was deemed not fit for purpose and a new facility was built in Newtown.
By the 1930s there were plans afoot to demolish the building and make way for the new National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum, but an alternative site for the station couldn't be found.
The station was finally closed in 1956, and occupants were relocated to new barracks in Vivian St, but police continued to use it as their clothing store.
During this time the museum was keen to take over the site and became more insistent as its accommodation squeeze worsened.
Finally, the situation was resolved in 1967 when a new police station was built on Adelaide Rd and the museum moved into the building until Te Papa was built.
The building was then transferred to the Wellington Tenths Trust, as part of the main museum land.
The area containing the police station was then subdivided from the main part of this site.