Renovations started on historic Nelson home

Rutherglen house on Whitby Rd, currently being renovated by it's owners.
BRADEN FASTIER

Rutherglen house on Whitby Rd, currently being renovated by it's owners.

A grand old lady of the Port Hills has had a facelift.

Nelson's 112-year-old Victorian villa Rutherglen was in a sad state of repair when it was bought last year by new owners.  

Its previous American-based owner Robert Johnson left it in a badly run down state. Her weather boards were peeling badly, and were rotten in patches.

Heritage building Rutherglen, Whitby Road before its paint job.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

Heritage building Rutherglen, Whitby Road before its paint job.

Johnson created a public uproar in 2004 when he said he wanted to tear it down and replace it with apartments. 

The house, which has a heritage rating protecting it from demolition or removal, was bought by a Nelson couple in March 2016.

The new owners have re-piled the house and fixed up and painted its exterior. They are still to restore the interior.

A lead light window above the front door of heritage building Rutherglen, Whitby Road.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

A lead light window above the front door of heritage building Rutherglen, Whitby Road.

About 40 people this week got the chance to have a closer look at the house as part of a tour of historic Nelson homes organised by the city council for Heritage Week. 

The owners did not want to talk about the restoration, but were happy for it to be photographed.

Three of Nelson's historic homes that have been restored or have finished their renovations including Rutherglen on Whitby Rd, a home on nearby Richardson St and one on Nile St opened their doors for a field trip as part of the weeklong celebrations.

The tour followed a morning tea that celebrated "Heritage Heroes" – people who have used funds from the council's heritage fund to help restore their  buildings. 

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Nelson City Councillor Gaile Noonan said some of the buildings recognised were Rutherglen, the Nelson Club, Old St Johns and "the Castle" in the Brook.

She said it was great to hear feedback from the owners that encouragement from council staff had really helped them see their projects through.

Noonan said Nelson had a great variety of heritage buildings and they were a really important asset for the city .

"We are really lucky."

Rutherglen was built in 1904 for the son of the Anchor Shipping and Foundry Company Founder Alexander Brown. Brown was born in Rutherglen near Glasgow Scotland.

The theme of this year's Heritage Week is Welcome Home and it runs until Sunday with a variety of events planned including theatre, workshops and tours.

 - Stuff

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