Farmers Building, Wellington

Grant Type: 
Upgrade Works Grant
Date funded: 
September 2018

The Farmers building upgrade project has received $250,000. The building is a Heritage New Zealand Category 2 Historic Place and was designed by Joshua Charlesworth, a prominent local architect who also designed the Wellington Town Hall.

The building was constructed during the First World War from brick masonry and straddles the period between classicism and functional modernism. The building has a high level of original heritage fabric, despite several internal alterations to its layout, and is an excellent example of its time.

The building was initially occupied by Christopher Smith, a draper, until the late 1950s when it was sold to the Farmers Trading Company.

This upgrade project will see the seismic resistance of the Farmers building brought up to 100% NBS and return to commercial use, featuring multiple retail and office spaces. New ground beams, columns and walls will be installed, in order to provide seismic resistance while minimising the removal of heritage fabric.

Heritage fabric within the Farmers building will be retained and restored, including detailed pressed metal ceilings and other components. The exterior façade will also be renovated, with plaster moulds, detailing and wrought iron ties refurbished and retained.

In addition, the strengthening and preservation of the first-floor façade of the neighbouring building at 104 Cuba Street, which is listed under the Wellington District Plan, will take place.

New Zealand Heritage List entry – Heritage New Zealand website

Cuba Street Historic Area – Heritage New Zealand website