Turnbull House, Bowen Street, Wellington, is a good example of a large, early 20th century, domestic residence, and was built for a wealthy and eccentric bibliophile. It was designed by William Turnbull, a prominent local architect who was known for his skill in the design of “Revivalist-style” buildings.
The building has exceptional historic and cultural value as the home and library of Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull. Turnbull bequeathed to the country his collection of 55,000 books and manuscripts and this was housed in the building until the early 1970s.
The building is held in high public esteem and this can be demonstrated in the campaign to prevent its demolition in the 1970s.
Turnbull House has had significant recent work to reinstate elements of the façade removed in the 1950s, and is now a good facsimile of the original. The building has surpassed its 2016 centenary and makes a strong contribution to the sense of place and continuity in the otherwise ever-changing streetscape of Bowen Street.
While the building undergoes significant restoration and seismic strengthening I'll continue photographing changes to its interior with a particular focus on its grid formations.
Thanks to Turnbull House, a property in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.