The History of 37 St Vincent Avenue, Remuera

1. 37 St Vincent Avenue. (

2. Carr Robert C. Death (NZH 1928 02 20)

3. Mary Jane Milne (Hilary F. Reid. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 1993. Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand)

4. John Stuart Milne. Tucker, K.A. Milne & Choyce: A 100-year-old-business 1867-1967. Milne and Choyce, 1968.

5. Architectural drawing for the house at 37 St Vincent Avenue (ref: AKC 339 Building Permit and Consents Aperture Cards 1908-1997, St Vincent Avenue, Record ID: 178749).

37 St Vincent Avenue made the news recently when it was sold and plans were revealed for the demolition or removal of the 1920s house to make way for 19 townhouses. [1]

The 1920s house was home to the Milne family of Auckland’s early business success, Milne & Choyce.

37 St Vincent Avenue formed part of original Allotment 18A, Section 12 of the Suburbs of Auckland. The Crown Grantee for Allotment 18A was Joseph Newman, who was among the first European farmers in the Remuera area. He acquired the land in 1848. He also owned allotments 18 and 19, the latter forming the basis of his Remuera Farm upon which his home (now known as Cotter House, 4 St Vincent Avenue) was built in 1862.

In 1884, Lot 23 (plus a right of way) of Allotment 18A was conveyed from Newman to an individual by the name of Carr. This is possibly auctioneer and early Remuera resident, R. C. Carr. Robert C Carr (1838-1928) had his own auction and land agency, and was a director of the New Zealand Insurance Company, of which he had been a member for 21 years. Prior to that he was on the board of the New Zealand Accident Insurance Company for a “considerable time before it was acquired by the New Zealand Insurance Company. Mr. Carr was also a director of the Northern Boot Company and of several mining companies. Throughout his life Mr. Carr was devoted to music. He held the position of organist at the Lower Remuera Mission Hall for 38 years.” [2, 3]

In 1890, the land was conveyed to an individual by the name of Johnston. In 1898 and 1901, Christina Anne Johnston was recorded as the owner/occupier. [4]

In 1907, the land was conveyed to Milne. This was likely Mary Jane Milne, the founder of the Milne and Choyce department store.

In 1910, part of Lot 23 was conveyed to Milne (rear portion) and another part was conveyed to Kidd (road frontage section). It is unclear which ‘Milne’ family member acquired the land in 1910-11, but it was likely Mary Jane’s nephew, John Stuart Milne (by then the director of the Milne and Choyce business) who was recorded as the occupier of part of Lot 23 in 1912-13. [5]

Mary Jane Milne passed away in 1921. [6]

By 1926, the land continued to be in the ownership of John Stuart Milne.

In 1926, a residence (present-day 37 St Vincent Avenue) was designed for J. S. Milne by the well-known architectural firm, Chilwell and Trevithick. The firm also designed St Ann’s in Arney Road, Elmstone on Remuera Road, Myers Kindergarten, Whitcombe and Tombs Building in Dunedin and the Arthur Eady Building on Queen Street, Auckland. [7]

In 1939, the property remained in the ownership of John Stuart Milne and appears to have remained in the Milne family ownership until 1971.