Church gets heritage status
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.