$16,250 Grant for Pioneering Plischke Building

19 March 2009

New Zealand's first Modernist office building, and several other well-known local buildings, received funding from Wellington City Council's Built Heritage Incentive Fund, and time is running out to put in an application for the next round.

The fund encourages the conservation of Wellington's 'built environment' by helping people meet some of the extra costs associated with owning and caring for heritage-listed buildings.

Each financial year there are three rounds in which groups can apply for funding and this year there is a total of $329,000 available. In the second round of this financial year, held last November, more than $153,000 was allocated across a range of projects to restore and preserve several landmark buildings in the Capital.

One building to benefit is Plunket House (126 - 132 Lambton Quay) - with $16,250 allocated for a conservation plan.

Originally known as Massey House, the building was designed for the Meat and Dairy Marketing Boards by internationally-renowned Austrian architect Ernst Plischke and his partner Cedric Firth and is widely regarded as the first example of Modern architecture in New Zealand.

On its completion in 1957 the eight-storey building was not universally lauded by the public - with many people suspicious about the arrival of Modernism in a country that was then dominated by Victorian architecture. However, the building is now revered as a landmark in the history of New Zealand architecture.

A number of other significant buildings also received funding including Northland's St Anne's Church - which received $40,000 for a renovation and extension of its hall; the 130-year-old Inverlochy House in Te Aro - which got $30,000 for repainting and re-roofing; and the former Masonic Hall at 221 Clyde Street in Island Bay - which was granted $20,000 for urgent repairs to its roof.

The Council's Associate Urban Development Portfolio Leader, Councillor Hayley Wain, says the funding will play an important role in preserving these buildings for future generations.

"We're fortunate to have so many attractive old buildings in the Capital - they're all part of the city's charm. This funding will help ensure these buildings can be enjoyed by Wellingtonians for years to come."

The next round of the Built Heritage Incentive Fund closes at 5.00pm on Tuesday 31 March, with around $130,000 available.

For more information about grants, including a grants calendar, application forms, past allocations and guides to completing your application, visit the Grants section or phone the Council on (04) 499 4444.