Historic Place Category 1
Pt Sec 16 Blk 14 Town of Dunedin
As a church this building was a significant aspect of the development of Methodism in Dunedin.
It was erected in 1869 to replace an earlier Methodist Church which had proved to be architecturally unviable. The building was sold in 1977 to the Fortune Theatre Trust, and is currently used as a playhouse theatre.
This building, as Trinity Church, represents part of the development of the Methodist Church in Dunedin. Its significant change from a place of worship to a playhouse in 1977 was an example of an innovative and successful reuse of a redundant ecclesiastical building.
Designed and built by one of Dunedin's leading architects in the late nineteenth century, and using an architectural style and construction which is a feature of Dunedin city, the former Holy Trinity Church was a very fine smaller scale church. On the Fortune Theatre it maintains its architectural integrity and streetscape quality.
The Fortune Theatre occupies a prominent inner city corner, and forms part of an architecturally attractive streetscape.
Stonework; bar tracery of windows.
The Fortune Theatre is a substantial Victorian building, Gothic Revival in style. Constructed in bluestone it is characterised by pale pointing and decorative Oamaru stone details, the contrast in colour emphasising the Gothic elements such as pointed arches, window tracery, pinnacles, finials and buttress angles. The pointed arch is used repeatedly for window and door openings, contrasted by a rose window in the west end. Windows vary in size, the largest ones featuring intersecting tracery enclosing trefoils.
The roof is steeply pitched above the nave and transepts with flat balcony areas to the north-west and south-west. The balconies have quatrefoil balustrading and oversized pinnacles at the corners. An octagonal bell turret on the north-west adds variety to the overall form.
1966: Building structurally strengthened and waterproofed; Mission organ enlarged; interior renovated; exterior pinnacles reduced and bell tower reclad.
1977: Remodelled for use as theatre.
- Modification: 1966 (circa)
- Modification: 1977 (circa)
- Original Construction: 1870 (circa)
Local bluestone with Oamaru stone facings and decoration, slate roof.
- Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905,p185
- Hardwicke Knight and Niel Wales, Buildings of Dunedin: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to New Zealand's Victorian City, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1988,p126-154
- D S Mullan. The Trinity Fortune Affair, Trinity Methodist Trust, Dunedin, 1981,,p5-6
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
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