Wellington couple buy heritage Mt Cook police barracks
The future of New Zealand's oldest purpose-built police station is in the hands of Wellingtonians.
A local couple are the proud new owners of the heritage Mt Cook police barracks in Buckle St.
It is the first time the historic Wellington landmark, with a Rateable Value (RV) of $1.5 million, had been placed on the open market.
The property last sold in January 1999 for $680,000, when the RV was $370,000.
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The Buckle St, category A heritage listed commercial premises, was built in 1894 by prisoners. It was home to The Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery until the completion of Te Papa in the late 1990s.
The building, at the base of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, is currently tenanted to several small companies on short-term leases.
Bayleys Wellington salesman James Higgie, who is marketing the building for sale by tender, said the new owners, from Wellington, had no immediate plans for the building.
He would not say how much it sold for.
The previous owners put the property on the market as they no longer had a use for their former business premises, Higgie said.
Thousands of red bricks for the 550 square metre, Mt Cook police barracks were handmade by the inmates — each brick was individually marked with an arrow, which can still be seen on the boundary walls, and the brick wall on Tasman St.
According to Heritage New Zealand, the black and white glazed brick banding above the arched windows on the lower level, was modelled on the old Scotland Yard building in London, he said.
The building finished its life as police barracks in 1956, with police staff moving to the Taranaki St station, but police continued to use the building as a clothing store for a further decade.
In 1978 the New Zealand Historic Places Trust undertook restoration of the building, which included removal of a 1912 extension.
During the 1980s the Ministry of Works strengthened the building and removed some of the internal walls on the upper level.