Thursday, 25 January 2018

Rotorua : Summer of STEAM, Post # 3 : Our Architecture

Rotorua's Architecture.

Our tallest buildings :

Photograph by Alison Leigh for Kete Rotorua, 2013

  • 1908 The 'Bath House' by Dr Arthur Stanley Wohlmann with help from the Government architect Mr B.S. Corlett, the draughtsman for the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts and Architect Mr J.W. Wrigley.  Built by Mr William E. Hutchinson, Builder and Contractor from Ponsonby, Auckland.  
The 'Bath House' is described as 88 ft. in height to the ridge and has a decorative tower above that.
Over the years since it's opening there have been a number of additions and alterations, 1911 and 1935. In 1957 Cabinet recommended that the building be demolished! Thankfully the Rotorua City Council took it on in 1963 and by 1969 it had been restored to it's former glory. Opening as the Museum in 1969 with Mr Don Stafford as the curator.

Further additions and alterations followed in 1977, 1979, 1982, 2008 & 2009.  The Bath House is currently closed for earthquake strengthening the time frame is not yet decided. For further details click this link  The Bath House

With thanks to 'Tudor Towers - The Rotorua Baths' a thesis by Paul Rewi Bennett c.1984,  and the Rotorua Museum website for the above information.

  • 1914 The new Post Office & Telegraph Office was opened with a spectacular clock tower.
Photograph taken by Alison Leigh on the 2nd Floor of the Library Building 2016.
  • 1958 The new Arawa Trust Building with 2 floors above street level shops.
  • 1962 The Government Buildings in Haupapa Street - The Maori Land Court 3 floors, Minsitry of Works and Social Welfare Building 4 floors and the Government Life Assurance building 3 Floors.
Photograph by Margaret Callaghan for Rotorua Library 1990
  • 1964 The new 304 Shopping complex opened on the SE corner of Pukuatua & Tutanekai Streets with 2 floors above the street level shops.
  • 1964 State Insurance Building
  • 1966 The new Post Office, 5 Floors.
The now Old Post Office Building on Hinemoa Street
Photograph by Alison Leigh for Kete Rotorua 2012.
  • 1970 The Bay Savings Bank building was officially the tallest in Rotorua with 7 floors, then known as Parkes Building, now called the "Hinemoa Tower".
This building was the tallest in Rotorua until the Woodcorp Tower was built in 1987.
  • 1971 Geyser Court our first shopping mall opened, with a mezzanine. 
  • 1972 T & G Building 3 floors above street level shops. 
  • 1983 The Vacation Hotel described as multi-story luxury on the site of the old Brents Hotel.
  • 1987 The new officially tallest building in Rotorua, Woodcorp Tower at 10 floors. Now in 2017 known as the Zen Building, which lies empty awaiting transformation into a luxury hotel. Still officially the tallest building in Rotorua.

Photograph by Alison Leigh for Kete Rotorua 2012.
For more photographs of Rotorua buildings visit Kete Rotorua