“Carriage” House, 78 Orakei Road, Remuera

78 Orakei Road, Carriage House poster, House for Sale 19 August 1991

There has been a lot of neighbourhood activity recently around a proposed development at 78 Orakei Road, where a reported 172 year old house is to be demolished to make way for 19 townhouses.

A developer’s Resource Consent application (25 March 2020) for 19 units on a 2,524m2 site will see the current 2-storied house beside Waiata Reserve bowled.

Heritage New Zealand are carrying out an archaeological assessment as the building being demolished is pre-1900, as dictated in the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.

Remuera Heritage commissioned research into the history of the house. Initial findings indicate:

It is highly unlikely that a carriage house – or any other house – was built on the site in 1846. 

Therefore, either the house was built on site at a later date, or an “1846 carriage house” was relocated to the property from elsewhere. 

The current evidence suggests that the building may have been constructed c.1870, and that this building may have been associated with Nicholas Cornish Rowe, coachman, and the later Thomas Bishop Rowe, coachbuilder. 

In 1875, Nicholas Cornish Rowe is recorded as owning property, including a dwelling, on part of an allotment which seems likely to have been Allotment 97 (Section 16, Suburbs of Auckland). 

Nicholas Rowe’s occupation is recorded as coachman. Thomas Bishop Rowe appears in records associated with Nicholas Rowe in Remuera, and his occupation is shown as coach builder. 

The reference to a carriage house may therefore relate to the Rowe occupation of the site but this contention requires factual evidence to substantiate it. 

Arthur Charles Atkin, also a coach builder (of Cousins & Atkin Ltd – a carriage factory company) was briefly an owner of land including the subject site. However, it appears that he was more closely associated with the Walsh brothers (aviation pioneers), and the house he owned stands at 62 Orakei Rd. 

On the 1907 notice of subdivision, by Atkin, under the Land Transfer Act 1885, it was noted that John Ballantine (an engineer) occupied the land, but while that may suggest that Ballantine occupied the house depicted in the Plan DP3922, that cannot be verified. 

Further information is available from archival repositories, but these are not currently open, and are unlikely to be accessible for the near future. 

Contact info@remueraheritage.org.nz for a detailed outline of the timeline.

Prepared April 2020