[EYE] ON AUCKLAND would like to take you on a little tour of the new Deloitte Centre & Tower site located between Jean Batten Place, Queen, Shortland and Fort Streets in downtown Auckland.1.
It is late 1840 and on the shore of Commercial Bay the first permanent timber structure in the newly established city of Auckland is built, [GOVERNMENT STORE]. By 1844 the store is used as a market and 165 years later will become the site for the [DELOITTE CENTRE & TOWER].
By 1867 more permanent structures appear due to booming export business and population growth. From left to right: New Zealand Insurance Co, PA Philips - Iron Monger, M Bruce - Jeweller, T Boylan - Glass Importer, W Miller - Boot Maker, HP Hayward, The Bank of Australasia and Shortland Street Post Office.3.
1868 [SHORTLAND STREET POST OFFICE & CUSTOM HOUSE] built in the Gothic Style. By the 1930's the building was demolished to make way for a road (Jean Batten Place) connecting Shortland Street (Auckland's oldest Street) and Fort Street, as well as, for the construction of the [JEAN BATTEN POST OFFICE]. The above photograph was taken in 1905.
In 1885 the [VICTORIA ARCADE] was built and featured Street level shops and four floors of office space. Many artists such as Henry Winkelmann kept studios here. Unfortunately the building was sold and subsequently demolished in 1978 by the [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND] for their new building. A disaster and big loss for Auckland. This is why we will never bank with the [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND]. The above photograph was taken in 1904.5.
Built between 1937 and 1942 the [JEAN BATTEN POST OFFICE] was designed in the Moderne Style which was all the rage. Completed during the wartime years the building first housed the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Red Cross.
1978 the [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND] demolishes [VICTORIA ARCADE] and build their hideous office block adjoining the [JEAN BATTEN BUILDING] which forever scars Queen Street and is prophetic of things to come for heritage buildings in downtown Auckland. SHAME on you [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND].7.
2008 [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND] demolish their 1970's monstrosity and begin construction on a 21 level office tower and restore the [JEAN BATTEN BUILDING] which will retain original features such as brass lights, crests and Art Deco cornices. The building has been given a 5 star Green Star rating. By November 2009 elite-brand stores such as Speedo, Reebok, Lacoste, Northface, Rockport and Ben Sherman will open their doors to the passing trade.
[EYE] ON AUCKLAND is relieved that the former building is gone but that will never replace [VICTORIA ARCADE] and for that we will never forgive the Auckland City Council and/or the [BANK OF NEW ZEALAND].