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32 Lombard Street - House

32-Lombard -Street

Building Details

Address: 32 Lombard Street, House
Construction date: 1888-89 
Architect/designer: Unknown
Architectural style: Bay Villa
District Plan Category: 2
Building number: 75
Heritage NZ Category: 2

Physical and Social History 

CT WN24/83 was issued to Palmerston North lodging housekeeper Samuel Dawick on 13 May 1881. This consisted of Lots 22 and 23 of Section 300 of the Township of Palmerston North. However the Palmerston North rate books indicate that the house was completed during the 1889-90 rating year. At that time the value of the property suddenly jumped from a consistent £50 to £230, while its identical neighbour, also a Dawick property, remained at £50. The house then was clearly built for Rebecca Dawick, by that time a widow.

The Palmerston North Historical Society's publication Mather Papers: Taonui, Lombard and Campbell Streets, records that Lombard Street was constructed in two stages. Section 300, the portion at the Featherston Street end of Lombard Street, upon which this house was built, was subdivided by the Borough Council in 1883. The owner of the land between this subdivision and Cuba Street (Section 303) was Joseph Nathan, and he was given permission to develop the rest of the street in 1886.[1]

The boundary fence of the Campbell Street School, then town's State School and the forebear of Central Normal Schoo[MM1] l, touched the back corner of Rebecca Dawick's property, and there would have been many young families living in the immediate vicinity. This was, therefore, one of Palmerston North's earliest nursery suburbs. TheCyclopedia of New Zealand (Vol 1, p1156), published in 1897, records that at the time there were 478 children enrolled at the school. Many would have had to walk some considerable distance to school, unless they were fortunate enough to live in one of the surrounding streets.

Various records, including the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition, indicate that a significant number of these properties were either owned or rented by women. Although some were probably placed in the wives names to protect family homes in case the husbands went bankrupt. Other houses in this vicinity appear likely to have attracted widows, solo mothers and single women due to affordability.

Samuel Dawick had taken out a mortgage on the Lombard Street property with the Wanganui Equitable Land, Building and Investment Society Permanent (sic) in 1882, and this was paid off in 1887.

Samuel died on 19 November 1888, aged 59 years, apparently without having developed the Lombard Street property. [2] His name appears among the first 361 people to become liable to pay rates after Palmerston North became a borough in 1877. He had established The Buffet (often known as Dawick's Buffet), a non-licensed boarding-house and restaurant in Main Street West, in 1875, and the timber quoins shown on that building in a rare photo of it, reveal that the Lombard Street house shared these traits with the family business.[3] After Samuel's death, Rebecca and two of the couple's sons continued running the hotel.

This hotel was burnt down in the 1890s and was replaced a substantial brick hotel in Rangitikei Street. This newly built temperance hotel and restaurant was described in The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (p1185) in 1897, by which time only William and Edward Dawick were apparently running it, their mother presumably having retired. Initially it was named Dawick's Buffet, but in 1913 it took over the licence of the former Royal Hotel and became the New Royal Hotel. It is at present better known as the Guv'nors Tavern.

In 1901 the Lombard Street property was finally transmitted to Rebecca. However, she in fact had died on 12 August 1900, aged 67 years, and so it was then immediately transmitted to William Thomas Dawick, Palmerston North boarding-house keeper, and Arthur George Dawick Kimbolton carpenter. The same year it was transferred to Edward Samuel Dawick, described as a settler of Palmerston North. In 1916, part of Lot 23 was sold off. CT WN242/227 was then issued for the remainder.

In 1941 the property was transmitted to Arthur David Dawick, Palmerston North labourer, and Nellie Letitia Hickton, married woman of Mananui, as executors. It was then transferred to these two along with Percey George Dawick as tenants in common in equal shares. The property was then subdivided down to two parts and the part without the house on it (possibly part Lot 23) was sold.

CT WN 503/40 was then issued for the house site in 1944 to Nellie Letitia Hickton of Mananui, married woman, and Percy George Dawick, labourer of Palmerston North. Mrs Hickton's share was transmitted to Mavis Isobel Kilmartin, married woman of Mangere East, as executor, in 1969, and she then had the share transferred into her name. Percy George Dawick's share was transmitted to the Public Trust in 1979.

The two shares were then combined and transferred into new ownership as follows:
1980 - Anthony Gale Opie, company director of PN, and Oaksford Developments Ltd, of PN, as tenants in common in equal shares.
1981 - Jeffrey Warren Jones, fitter & turner, & Kim Marie Dinnen, fashion designer, both of PN. The couple's marriage was recorded on the CT in 1983.
1987 - Gordon Henry Knight, university lecturer, and his wife Margaret Elsie Knight, PN.
1990 - David George Kelly, company director, and Anne Christine Kelly, secondary school teacher, of PN.
1993 - Simon Russell Firth, engineer of PN
2000 - Paul James Greer
2007 - Current Owners

Apart from a store shed and factory plan sited at 32 Lombard Street in 1934 (suggesting past street renumbering or similar), the entries in the Building Permit files for this property start in 1986. These begin that year with a new bathroom and laundry for J Jones. In 1988, a Quin garage was built for GH Knight.

Architectural Design 

Because of the age of the house, there are no original drawings in the PNCC archives.  It is likely, however the that plan of this single storey house follows a standard design for the period with a central corridor from front to back with rooms either side.  The kitchen and bathroom are likely to be at the rear.  The living room is most likely to be at the front of the house and with the bay window.

The house follows the usual Bay Villa characteristics of asymmetry of building form with projecting bay on one side with a verandah over the remainder of the street frontage.  It has the typical Italianate Classical detailing such as modillions under eaves, pilasters, a low pitched roof, and quoins on the corners of the building.  Many of these details would have been machine made and selected from catalogues of timber companies.  Double hung sash windows are also common in the age and style of house.

Statement of Significance 

The house has local significance for its historical and design values, its technology,rarity of building style and high level of external authenticity.

The house has design significance for its early Bay Villa style with typical Italianate detailing.  The use of standard machined details gives the building some technological values.  The house has a high level of authenticity of external design, materials, craftsmanship and setting, including fences and gates.

The house has historical values as a building that is now approximately 120 years old and is a rare and early example of the style of building. It also has close links to the historic hotel/tavern in Rangitikei Street, presently called the Guv'nors Tavern, and also to the well-known (in their day) local hotelier family, the Dawicks.

Additional References
Certificates of Title: WN503/40 (1944), prior WN242/227 (1916), WN24/83 (1881)
Ian Matheson City Archives: Community Archives file A 175/167

[1] Brian Mather, Mather Papers: Taonui, Lombard and Campbell Street (Palmerston North Historical Society, c2007), pp4, 6-7, 21-2.

[2] Note that the Terrace End Cemetery records give Samuel's date of burial as 29 December 1888, whereas according to the mostly legible CT WN24/83, his will said he died on 19 November 1888. The same CT states that Rebecca died on 12 August 1900, while the Terrace End Cemetery records claim she was buried that same day.

[3] This photo is labelled 'HO 22' in a photocopy from the Brian Mather papers on PN hotels, and is from the PN Library photographic collection. HO 23 shows the second hotel that is now the Gov'nors Tavern.