News & Events

385 College Street - House

385-College -Street

Building Details

Address: 385 College Street, House
Construction date: 1938
Architect/designer: R Thorrold Jaggard
Architectural style: Moderne
District Plan Category: 2
Building number: 76

Physical and Social History 

CT WN461/69 was issued to Charlotte Elliott Warburton, spinster of Palmerston North, on 13 January 1938. The Building Permit records include the original plans for this building. These are dated December 1937 (Permit No 1829) and were described as a proposed block of flats for Miss C Warburton. The architect was R Thorrold Jaggard. The plans outlined two flats, one above the other. The upper flat had two bedrooms and a sunroom stretching between bedroom No 1 and the sitting room. The house had a separate double garage that had a dividing wall between the two cars. It also contained a toilet, wood box and a shared laundry.

Charlotte Eliot Warburton MBE was a member of a prominent early Palmerston North family. She had hoped to become an architect, however, her father was strongly opposed to women working or having careers, and refused to allow it. She was not able to participate fully in community activities until after his death in 1922.

Her own wide range of public activities included involvement with the local Girl Guide movement and serving from 1940 as chairman of the Palmerston North district committee of the Women's War Service Auxiliary. In 1931, she had become the first matron of the newly built refectory and hostel at Massey College. She retired from that position in 1938, the same year this house was built. She was made an MBE in 1946 for her meritorious service throughout the war years.

Charlotte Warburton also wrote the local history book Changing Days and Changing Ways (published 1954), which is still well known to local historians. Her biography appears in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol 4: W5.

She died on 17 December 1961, aged 78. Her address is given in the Terrace End Cemetery records as 387 College Street, although this is the same house renumbered.

In 1962, the property was transmitted to Maud Agnes Dalgety, married woman of Palmerston North, as executor. At the same time the property was then transferred to Maud and Frederick Warburton Dalgety, a Mangaweka farmer, as tenants in common in equal shares. Maud Dalgety's share was then transferred to Frederick W Dalgety in 1971.

Subsequent owners

1991 - Paul Frederick Freeman Egden & Jacqueline Anne Cripps, both PN medical practitioners
1993 - Michael Kenneth Ellins, real estate salesperson, & Valerie Lois Ellis, shop assistant, of PN
1994 - Steven Grierson Charles, draughtsman, & his wife Suzanne Kay Charles, of PN, who subdivided the property and were reissued CT WN45D/244 for the house
2003 - Dean Lawrence Mckerras
2005 - Carey David Jones & Kathrine Jones
2006 - Current Owners

In 1995, then owner, Steven Grierson Charles, a civil engineer, began the process of converting the two flats into a single dwelling. On the ground floor, part of the kitchen and a bedroom, became part of the garage, while the remainder of those rooms became part of the lounge. Other alterations included the front porch being partly closed in, while the upstairs sitting room became the master bedroom and the upstairs kitchen became its en suite. Meanwhile the existing garage at the back of the property was demolished, and the back part of the section was subdivided off and sold.

In 2000, SG Charles added a new bay window to the ground floor lounge, to match the upstairs bay window.

Architectural Design 

The building is a two storied Moderne styled building housing two flats.  The plans of the two flats are similar with the general form an 'L shape.  The entry to the ground floor flat is from the centre of one side of the building leading to a hall.  The kitchen and sitting room are to the front of the building and the two bedrooms, bathroom and toilet to the rear of the building.  The entry to the first floor flat is opposite the ground floor flat entry, leading to a hall and stairs leading to the first floor.  The plan matches the ground floor pan with slight changes to the size of the bathroom, which incorporates the toilet and a box room over the ground floor flat entry porch.  A double garage building is located at the rear, which also houses two woodsheds a toilet and a laundry.

The general style of the building is Moderne, which is characterised by streamlined, curved walls, and an emphasis on horizontal lines.  Flat roofs hidden by parapets were common.  The style also encompasses references to boats, which can be seen in the circular window to the box room.

The term 'Moderne' was originally used to describe the more ornate buildings of the twenties and thirties that were not of the unadorned International style.  It is now used to distinguish the cubic decorated Art Deco from the curved usually undecorated style of the later 1930's and early 1940's, which developed from Art Deco.

The building is timber framed with Konka: plaster walls and it uses many of the details seen in the Square Edge building which the same architect designed.  The roof has a slight pitch but is hidden behind the parapet.

The garage added in 1995 has altered the east elevation while some minor replanning work to the interior was completed at the same time.

Statement of Significance 

This house has local significance for design values, historical associationwith the first owner and developer, its comparative rarity of building type, representivity of style and good level of authenticity. 

The block of flats was designed in a well-interpreted version of the Moderne style, with streamline curved walls, horizontal forms, parapet and circular window.  Small blocks of flats with only two units are relatively rare, and their location outside the CBD, is even more rare. The building is historically associated with Miss C Warburton, who was active in community works including the Girl Guide movement and the Women's War Service Auxiliary committee - much of this work occurring while she lived in the house.  It is also historically associated with well-recognised architect, R Thorrold Jaggard, who designed the building.

Despite demolition of the stand alone garage and addition of a new garage to the building, the building retains a good level of authenticity.

Additional References
Certificates of Title: WN45D/244 (1994), prior WN461/69
Ian Matheson City Archives Community Archives records A175/167 & Manawatu Standard 7/5/2005, p48