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Historic Place Category 1
Lots 1-3 DP 8353 Lot 4 DP 1239
Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)
Landmark House is one of Queen Street's most distinctive buildings, and was built as the headquarters of the Auckland Electricity Power Board (AEPB) in 1930. An eight-storey Art Deco tower with a corner turret, the building was effectively an advert for the AEPB, which was a public body and the sole provider of electricity in the isthmus. Electricity had recently superseded gas and coal as a major source of power, and the AEPB celebrated the dawning of a new era by opening this building on the same day as the hydro-electric dam constructed by the Public Works Department at Arapuni in the southern Waikato.
The headquarters was a self-consciously modern building, described as a 'miniature skyscraper' when built, and was one of the tallest structures in Auckland. It was the first building in the city to be floodlit and was proclaimed to have the fastest lift in the country. It was also a celebration of communal pride, with New Zealand motifs being used and local firms - including the architects, Wade and Bartley - preferred in its construction. The AEPB offices were located on the upper floors of the building, while the rest was rented out to other commercial and retail businesses. A ninth floor was added to the building in 1933. The AEPB moved their headquarters in 1968, taking a panelled boardroom to their newer premises in Newmarket. The building has since undergone a number of changes, including substantial internal alterations in the 1980s. It was refurbished as offices and retail space in 2000, when original features in its lobby were conserved.
Landmark House is significant as a highly individual landmark and is the most striking early skyscraper-style building in northern New Zealand. Its pressed cement facade, patented by Hall and Stanborough, is especially unusual while notable internal elements are retained in its lobby and original top floor. It has considerable historical importance for demonstrating the contribution of publicly owned utilities in the early twentieth century and the emergence of electricity as a major energy supply. Its value is enhanced by its proximity to other historic buildings in Queen Street, including those linked to electric technology, such as cinemas.
Registration covers the building, its fixtures and finishes. Landmark House lies on the site of earlier structures, including the British Hotel and the Commercial Travellers and Warehousemen's Club.
- Other: 1860 (circa)
- Original Construction: 1928 (circa) - 1930 (circa)
- Addition: 1933 (circa)
- Modification: 1968 (circa)
- Modification: 1982 (circa)
- Modification: 1988 (circa)
- Modification: 2000 (circa)
- New Zealand Historic Places Trust,'Landmark House (formerly Auckland Electric Power Board Building), 187 Queen Street, Auckland', NZHPT Buildings Classification Committee Report, Wellington, 1986 (held by NZHPT, Auckland); New Zealand Historic Places Trust, 'Landmark House (formerly Auckland Electric Power Board Building), 185-189 Queen Street, Auckland', NZHPT Buildings Classification Committee Report, Wellington, 1990 (held by NZHPT, Auckland)
- Conservation Plan,Salmond Architects, 'Former Auckland Electric Power Board Building: A Conservation Plan', Auckland, 1997
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