Ashleigh Court Private Hotel (Former)

112 Riddiford Street, 114 Riddiford Street, 116 Riddiford Street, 118 Riddiford Street, 120 Riddiford Street

112-122 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington
Map
  • Constructed

    1906 - 1907

  • Architect(s)

    Hawthorn and Crump

  • Builder(s)

    Hawthorn and Crump

  • 112 – 122 Riddiford Street is a fine example of a mixed use Edwardian hotel/commercial building. It is notable for its vigorous and assertive design that makes full use of Classical motifs and ornamentation.

    This building contributes to the Newtown Central Shopping Centre Heritage Area.

    The building’s design qualities, prominent location and wedge shaped plan, make it one of the most recognisable and memorable buildings in Newtown.
     

  • close History
    • Newtown was originally surveyed by the New Zealand Company in 1840 as part of the new settlement of Wellington. Newtown was farmland for its first few decades and only lightly settled. The relocation of Wellington Hospital and the extension of the tram system to the suburb in the 1880s spurred subdivision. Within 40 years, the suburb was effectively filled.

      The Newtown Central suburban centre has a largely uninterrupted streetscape of Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Most of the buildings are two storey and timber and date from the period of the suburb’s early development. Almost all are the first buildings to occupy their sites. The suburb’s early self sufficiency was epitomised by the range of shops, specialised or otherwise, that lined Riddiford Street. Many shops had the same occupants for decades. The second half of the century saw much change, with the end of the trams in 1964, the closing of many long-standing shops, families moving out to suburbs further afield, and the influx of immigrants.

      A permit was issued for the construction of 112-122 Riddiford Street in January 1904, but it was not completed until 1907. There were two sets of plans and specifications associated with this development – one was for a two-storey building of shops and a public hall while the other (which was built) was for shops and a private hotel, of three stories. The builders and developers were John Hawthorn and Colin Crump who bought the land and improvements on the corner of Riddiford and Rintoul Streets from Lucy Crampton in 1903.

      One estimated figure for the cost of the building was £4000, although whether this relates to the first or second set of plans is not known. The building was named the Langham Private Hotel for its first proprietor, Russell Langham. It is likely he leased the building. The same year the building was completed Newtown residents held a poll and voted that the suburb be a ‘dry’ area. The hotel has therefore never held a liquor licence.

      The turnover of proprietors has been considerable, as have been the many alterations to the building. Upgrading the shops began in 1951 while much of the building was renovated in 1974. At this time it was renamed the Ashleigh Court Private Hotel. There was further refurbishment of the building, including restoration of the façade, in 1997. This building has since been converted in to office accommodation, including shops and a ground floor bar.


    • Modifications close
      • 1907
      • Building completed
      • 1931
      • Shed erected at the rear of the building
      • 1951
      • Upgrade of some of the shops
      • 1957
      • Fire escapes added to the building
      • 1990
      • Conversion to two separate apartments on level two
      • 1997
      • Restoration of the façade
      • 1997
      • Construction of a mezzanine floor in shop at 118 Riddiford Street
      • 1997
      • Seismic strengthening of two apartments on level 1
      • 1998
      • Refubishment of an apartment and office area, level 1
      • unknown
      • The full list of modifications and the corresponding Wellington City Archives’ reference numbers are listed under section “Background Research”.
    • Occupation History close

      Not assessed

  • close Architectural Information
    • Building Classification(s) close

      Not assessed

    • Architecture close

      This three-storey high, wedge-shaped building, with its capacious basement, occupies a very acute corner site between Rintoul and Riddiford Streets. The building has distinctive ‘cornflake-box’ proportions, a quality exacerbated by the thinness of the façade at the street corner.  

      Its architectural and streetscape interest is derived from its elaborate Palladian neo-Classical styling (a “quality” Edwardian style more commonly seen on public buildings, and not dissimilar to that of the Wellington Town Hall), and its elegant detailing and use of materials. Along with its intact array of parapets and pediments and the stained-glass edging to the verandah, these qualities make it one of the most recognisable buildings in Newtown.  Its prime corner location makes the building arguably the most important visual anchor in the Newtown Central Heritage Area.

    • Materials close


      Brick masonry on reinforced concrete foundations and piles
      Timber trusses
      Corrugated iron roof



    • Setting close

      This three-storey high, wedge-shaped building, with its capacious basement, occupies a very acute corner site between Rintoul and Riddiford Streets. The building has distinctive ‘cornflake-box’ proportions, a quality exacerbated by the thinness of the façade at the street corner.  

      Its architectural and streetscape interest is derived from its elaborate Palladian neo-Classical styling (a “quality” Edwardian style more commonly seen on public buildings, and not dissimilar to that of the Wellington Town Hall), and its elegant detailing and use of materials. Along with its intact array of parapets and pediments and the stained-glass edging to the verandah, these qualities make it one of the most recognisable buildings in Newtown.  Its prime corner location makes the building arguably the most important visual anchor in the Newtown Central Heritage Area.

  • close Cultural Value

    112 – 122 Riddiford Street is a fine example of a mixed use Edwardian hotel/commercial building. It is notable for its vigorous and assertive design that makes full use of Classical motifs and ornamentation.

    This building contributes to the Newtown Central Shopping Centre Heritage Area.

    The building’s design qualities, prominent location and wedge shaped plan, make it one of the most recognisable and memorable buildings in Newtown.

    • Aesthetic Value close
      • Architectural

        Does the item have architectural or artistic value for characteristics that may include its design, style, era, form, scale, materials, colour, texture, patina of age, quality of space, craftsmanship, smells, and sounds?

        112 – 122 Riddiford Street is a fine example of a mixed use Edwardian hotel/commercial building. It is notable for its vigorous and assertive design that makes full use of Classical motifs and ornamentation.

      • Group

        Is the item part of a group of buildings, structures, or sites that taken together have coherence because of their age, history, style, scale, materials, or use?

        Wellington’s topography and the street formations, laid out by Mein Smith, have created a number of narrow triangular shaped sites.  The shape of these sites has generated some of the city’s key buildings (for example the Old BNZ building, Public Trust) due to their wedge like shape and prominence at the intersections of city streets.   A notable nearby example is the wedge-shaped building located at 2-14 Riddiford Street.

      • Townscape

        Does the item have townscape value for the part it plays in defining a space or street; providing visual interest; its role as a landmark; or the contribution it makes to the character and sense of place of Wellington?

        The townscape significance of the Ashleigh Court Private Hotel is high, as it is a prominent building in the heart of the Newtown shopping area, occupying the central wedge-shaped site between Riddiford and Rintoul Streets. The building also makes a major contribution to the Newtown Shopping Centre Heritage Area

    • Historic Value close
      • Association

        Is the item associated with an important historic event, theme, pattern, phase, or activity

        For a private hotel to remain in its original use for over 90 years is unusual and gives the building historic interest. Together with the original plans, which still exist, the building provides information about the operation of a socially important accommodation service such as that provided by private hotels.

    • Scientific Value close
      • Archaeological

        Does the item have archaeological value for its ability to provide scientific information about past human activity?

        There was pre-1900 human activity on this site.  Although some of the sites have been altered by rebuilding or landscaping or subdivisional change, there is archaeological value in the immediate surrounds.

    • Social Value close
      • Identity Sense of place Continuity

        Is the item a focus of community, regional, or national identity? Does the item contribute to sense of place or continuity?

        112-122 Riddiford Street is a distinctive building in the heart of the Newtown shopping area that is easily recognisable and frequently photographed. It contributes to the sense of place and continuity of the Newtown Shopping Centre Heritage Area. 

    • Level of Cultural Heritage Significance close

      Not assessed

    • Local / Regional / National / International Importance close

      Not assessed

  • close Site Detail
    • District Plan Number

      6/ 259

    • Legal Description

      LOT 1 DP 86593

    • Heritage New Zealand Listed

      2/Not Listed

    • Archaeological Site

      City Central NZAA 27/270, Maori Site of Significance

    • Current Uses

      unknown

    • Former Uses

      unknown

    • Has building been funded

      No

    • Funding Amount

      Not applicable

    • Earthquake Prone Status

      124 Notice

  • close Additional Information

Last updated: 27/11/2017 10:26:18 p.m.