Church gets her­itage sta­tus

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

A clus­ter of char­ac­ter build­ings which have stood on the cor­ner of Jer­vois Rd and Sey­mour St for more than a cen­tury have pro­tec­tion to re­main part of Pon­sonby’s streetscape.

The Pon­sonby Bap­tist Church com­plex has been reg­is­tered as a Cat­e­gory 1 his­toric place by the NZ His­toric Places Trust as a place of out­stand­ing her­itage sig­nif­i­cance.

The orig­i­nal build­ing dates back to 1875 and is be­lieved to be the ear­li­est pur­pose-built Bap­tist chapel and Sun­day school to sur­vive in Auck­land, regis­tra­tion her­itage ad­viser Martin Jones says.

‘‘Most peo­ple will prob­a­bly recog­nise the im­pres­sive main Bap­tist church build­ing, with its clas­si­cal and Ital­ianate ar­chi­tec­tural in­flu­ences, but it’s not ac­tu­ally the orig­i­nal church build­ing.

‘‘The first Bap­tist Church on the site was the chapel build­ing which was moved to the back of the prop­erty when an ad­join­ing sec­tion was pur­chased mak­ing room for its re­place­ment.’’

The later Sun­day school hall was sub­se­quently added to the same site in 1905.

All three build­ings are in­cluded in the regis­tra­tion.

The com­plex is also home to a rare 1779 or­gan, con­sid­ered to be the old­est or­gan in Aus­trala­sia re­main­ing close to its orig­i­nal form and one of only 10 sur­viv­ing or­gans in the world con­structed by Lon­don or­gan-maker John Avery.

Out­stand­ing: The Pon­sonby Bap­tist Church com­plex has been reg­is­tered as a Cat­e­gory 1 his­toric place.

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