Demolition of Hanna Block at King’s School

The demolition of the Hanna Block at King’s School in Remuera is going ahead, following a decision by the council’s Auckland Development Committee on 8 December 2015.

The committee voted 11 votes to seven not to issue a heritage order on the building, which means the demolition consent previously granted by Auckland Council stands.

The Hanna Block was built in 1936 as part of the boarding facilities at the school. It does not have any specific heritage recognition under the Auckland Isthmus District Plan and Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, despite its age and architectural character. The demolition of a pre-1940 building on the subject site is a permitted activity due to the underlying Residential 2A zoning (site is not located within the identified area for demolition control). The demolition of the Hanna Building is a permitted activity under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. A rebuild of the Hanna Block was estimated by Beca at $9-12 million with ongoing maintenance. The new block will cost $30 million.

The Hanna Block is not on the Historic Heritage List of the council nor Heritage New Zealand, nor is The Towers, original home of David Graham and the McCosh Clarks. The Chapel of the Holy Child, formerly the Stables, is listed, and its extent of place includes the Towers.

The Hanna Block honours the memory of two prominent Aucklanders – Samuel Jackson Hanna and Daniel Boys Patterson. Sam Hanna served in both WW1 and WW11, winning the Distinguished Service Cross in 1917. “In recognition of his services with a Naval Armoured Car Squadron in Belgium, France, the Dobrudja and Galicia. He has carried out his duties as Assistant Adjutant and Adjutant with conspicuous success, and always shown himself to be a plucky, capable and unselfish officer.” He lived at 9 Victoria Ave, Remuera with his parents and then at 24 Cotter Ave with his wife Freda. He was Chairman of the King’s School Board during the 1940s. Sam Hanna’s ashes were scattered at King’s School in 1958.

Daniel Boys Patterson was a notable Auckland architect. Along with the Hanna Block, he was responsible for the Remuera Fire Station (1928), The Auckland Savings Bank, Remuera (1962), Government House Auckland (1928), Mater Hospital (1936), the Patterson Wing of St John’s Theological College (1918) and St David’s Church, Khyber Pass (1926).

Demolition of the Hanna Block at King’s School started in December 2015. A petition to save the Hanna Block by a group of old boys was started on CHANGE.ORG and on Facebook Save the Historic Hanna Block. However, Auckland Council had already issued the demolition order in 2014. The new Centennial Building appears to include some features and reference to the red brick building from the 1930’s in its design after the original design of concrete and glass was criticised by the protest group.

Hanna block demolition 2015