MLC Building, 231 Lambton Quay (1940)

MLC Building.
The tower of the MLC Building in the late 1940s

The former MLC building was completed in 1940 on land reclaimed between 1857 and 1863 by the Provincial Council.

The first occupant was Wellington’s first Presbyterian church, St Andrews, originally erected in the 1840s and moved across the road to this site in 1866. It was turned into an auction house that later evolved into a hotel, the Central. The Central Hotel was finally removed in 1939.

The Mutual Life and Citizens Assurance Co. was an Australian-based insurance company. MLC operated its head office out of this building until 1985, when the New Zealand branch of the firm was taken over by New Zealand Insurance.

The building was eventually acquired by the Auckland-based St James Group in 1995 and converted into apartments.

Mitchell and Mitchell designed this building which is noted for its streamlined features and beautiful faience tiling.

Image reference: Raine, William Hall, 1892-1955. Creator unknown : Photograph of the corner of Lambton Quay and Hunter Street, Wellington, including the MLC building, taken by William Hall Raine. Ref: PAColl-9048. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.