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Historic Place Category 1
Secs 1,3 Pt 4 & Pt Sec 86 Blk 19 Town of Dunedin
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Work began on this building in July 1882 and it was completed by 1885. It replaced an earlier cottage built close to its present site in 1863-64.
Otago Boys' High School is a famous Dunedin Landmark, situated on a hill above the city with the Town Belt as a backdrop. This handsome, neo-Gothic structure consists of a central block with projecting gabled wings and ornamental turrets, and is one of the best examples of late Victorian architecture to be found in Dunedin's rich heritage. It was designed by R.A. Lawson, one of Dunedin's foremost architects who was also responsible for what is probably New Zealand's finest neo-Gothic church, the First Church of Dunedin.
The school was built of three types of stone, dark Leith basalt, lighter Port Chalmers breccia and cream Oamaru limestone. This combination of contrasting materials adds a lively, picturesque appearance to the exterior, typical of much High Victorian architecture.
The building, constructed by W.A. Carlton, incorporates many examples of fine Victorian craftsmanship. Each of the towers have four elegant corner turrets with pierced parapets on the East Tower and battlements on the West. The overall effect of the front façade is reminiscent of a castle. Within the walls of the building is a new theatre, which replaced as Assembly Hall and four classrooms. The earthquake risk which necessitated the removal of these rooms has in turn provided an opportunity to give a safe, functional use to an old building.
Otago Boys' High School is an imposing and impressive legacy of Dunedin's prosperous past and one of the best examples of Dunedin's many fine public and educational buildings.
- Original Construction: 1884 (circa)
NZIA National Award Winners 1985
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