Dunedin. The old Law Courts building which opened in 1902. View from a side street.

Dunedin. The old Law Courts building which opened in 1902. View from a side street.

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Dunedin. The old Law Courts building which opened in 1902. View from a side street.
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Dunedin.
The Edinburgh of the South was surveyed and laid out with its distinctive Octagon Park and surrounding streets by Charles Kettle who wanted to emulate the “Romantic” design of Edinburgh. He succeeded. He selected a fine site of rising ground just at the top of Otago Harbour. Here were built the early important buildings- the First Church of Otago – the major Presbyterian Church of NZ built in weatherboard in 1848, then replaced with a stone church in 1850, and the impressive Gothic masterpiece of today was erected in 1873 with the 177 feet high tower and spire. The architect who is credited with designing the First Church and so many of Dunedin’s fine stone buildigns was Robert Lawson ( 1833-1902) a Scot who emigrated to Australia in 1854 and then on to Dunedin in 1862. Robert Lawson also designed Larnach Castle (the only castle in NZ, 1871), the Knox Presbyterian Church (1876), the Dunedin Wesleyan Methodist Church – now the Fortune Theatre (1869), the Otago Boys High School (1885), the ANZ Bank 319 Princes St.(1874), the Hanover Street Baptist Church (1865 now demolished and replaced 1912) and the Municipal Chambers (1880). Many of Lawson’s buildings are built of white Oamaru limestone.

Other significant and heritage listed city buildings include: The Octagon is the centre, Moray Place surrounds it.
Around The Octagon:- Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics’ Institute 1870, 22 The Octagon; Regent Theatre 1904, 17 The Octagon; St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral 1914, 36 Moray Place; Municipal Chambers 1880, 38 The Octagon;
Moray Place :- First Church of Otago 1873, 410 Moray Place; former Dunedin Synagogue dating from 1864 is NZ’s oldest synagogue – extended 1872 and sold 1881 to the Masonic Lodge but now a residence, 29 Moray Place; Moray Terrace building about 1910, 63 Moray Place; Moray Place Congregational Church (former) 1865, 81 Moray Place; former Dunedin Public Library built around 1905, 110 Moray Place; Dunedin Town Hall 1929 in neo-classical style;
Princes Street:- Cargill’s Monument 1864; ; Wains Hotel 1878, 310 Princes St – with carved figures of Neptune and other gods above the doors; Bank of NZ 1879, 205 Princes St; Dunedin Chief Post Office 1937, 283 Princes St; the National Bank of NZ 1911, 193 Princes St;
Queens Gardens:- NZ Insurance Building 1897, 49 Queens Gardens; Union Bank 1874, 319 Queens Gardens;
Dowling Street:- Imperial Building Dunedin’s answer to the Flatiron building of NY – about 1910, corner Cowling and Lower High St; ; Garrison Hall 1872 (former) 8 Dowling St;
Stuart Street:- Dunedin Law Courts 1902, 1 Stuart St; Wesleyan Church now Fortune Theatre 1869, 231 Stuart St;
Other locations:- All Saints Anglican Church 1865, 786 Cumberland St; the Otago Museum 1877, 419 King St; St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral 1878-86 and St Dominic’s Priory 1877, 288 Rattray St; Dunedin Police Station 1898 (former), 21 Dunbar St; the Otago Girls High School 1910, 41 Tennyson St; Dunedin Prison 1898 (former), 2 Castle St; the Southern Cross Hotel 118 High St (former) 1883; the Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance Building, 7 Liverpool St 1882; the Otago Boys High School 1885, 18 Arthur St; and many fine mansions line High Street numbered 400 onwards. It is a bit of a climb but gives you good views across Otago Harbour towards St Kilda too. Buses go along the street so take a bus out and walk back down the hill!

Central Otago Railway and the Taieri Gorge train.
The impressive Dunedin railway station, the most photographer building in NZ, was completed in 1906. It was designed by a government architect with tower, gables and dormer windows in an Edwardian Flemish extravaganza style reflecting the importance of rail travel at that time. Inside the pretty flour tiles are by Royal Doulton. The line from Christchurch reached Dunedin in 1878. But one of the first railway lines in NZ originated here on a narrow gauge line to Port Chalmers in 1873. The steam engine that opened the line is housed in the Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin. But even before the railway came from Christchurch the Otago Central Railway was formed in 1877 with the first 27 km section opening in 1889. That line which we travel on today through Taieri Gorge was extended to Middlemarch in 1891. The line was extended every few years opening up land for sheep farmers until it reached Alexandra in 1906. The following year it was extended to Clyde and finally to Cromwell it’s most westerly point in 1921. Fat lambs and sheep were then railed to meat processing works at Pareora and later Mosgiel in Dunedin. This all came to a decline (but not a cessation) in the 1970s when Britain entered the European Common Market and road transport become cheaper. The western part of the rail line was closed by a new dam in 1980 and finally along its entire length in 1990. The Taieri Gorge section of the line climbs quickly to 437 metres (1,434 feet) with curves, a 200 metre tunnel and a long viaduct. The viaduct is the longest and tallest wrought iron structure in NZ. The line between Dunedin and Middlemarch has 10 tunnels, 16 major bridges and 4 major viaducts. Dunedin not only had trains but also cable trams like San Francisco. Its cable car operated from 1881 to 1957 being one of the first and last in the world to operate.

Dunedin. The Otago Girls High School. This building was completed in 1910 also in the Scottish Gothic style. The School began in 1871 the first girls high school in the southern hemisphere.
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Image by denisbin
Dunedin.
The Edinburgh of the South was surveyed and laid out with its distinctive Octagon Park and surrounding streets by Charles Kettle who wanted to emulate the “Romantic” design of Edinburgh. He succeeded. He selected a fine site of rising ground just at the top of Otago Harbour. Here were built the early important buildings- the First Church of Otago – the major Presbyterian Church of NZ built in weatherboard in 1848, then replaced with a stone church in 1850, and the impressive Gothic masterpiece of today was erected in 1873 with the 177 feet high tower and spire. The architect who is credited with designing the First Church and so many of Dunedin’s fine stone buildigns was Robert Lawson ( 1833-1902) a Scot who emigrated to Australia in 1854 and then on to Dunedin in 1862. Robert Lawson also designed Larnach Castle (the only castle in NZ, 1871), the Knox Presbyterian Church (1876), the Dunedin Wesleyan Methodist Church – now the Fortune Theatre (1869), the Otago Boys High School (1885), the ANZ Bank 319 Princes St.(1874), the Hanover Street Baptist Church (1865 now demolished and replaced 1912) and the Municipal Chambers (1880). Many of Lawson’s buildings are built of white Oamaru limestone.

Other significant and heritage listed city buildings include: The Octagon is the centre, Moray Place surrounds it.
Around The Octagon:- Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics’ Institute 1870, 22 The Octagon; Regent Theatre 1904, 17 The Octagon; St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral 1914, 36 Moray Place; Municipal Chambers 1880, 38 The Octagon;
Moray Place :- First Church of Otago 1873, 410 Moray Place; former Dunedin Synagogue dating from 1864 is NZ’s oldest synagogue – extended 1872 and sold 1881 to the Masonic Lodge but now a residence, 29 Moray Place; Moray Terrace building about 1910, 63 Moray Place; Moray Place Congregational Church (former) 1865, 81 Moray Place; former Dunedin Public Library built around 1905, 110 Moray Place; Dunedin Town Hall 1929 in neo-classical style;
Princes Street:- Cargill’s Monument 1864; ; Wains Hotel 1878, 310 Princes St – with carved figures of Neptune and other gods above the doors; Bank of NZ 1879, 205 Princes St; Dunedin Chief Post Office 1937, 283 Princes St; the National Bank of NZ 1911, 193 Princes St;
Queens Gardens:- NZ Insurance Building 1897, 49 Queens Gardens; Union Bank 1874, 319 Queens Gardens;
Dowling Street:- Imperial Building Dunedin’s answer to the Flatiron building of NY – about 1910, corner Cowling and Lower High St; ; Garrison Hall 1872 (former) 8 Dowling St;
Stuart Street:- Dunedin Law Courts 1902, 1 Stuart St; Wesleyan Church now Fortune Theatre 1869, 231 Stuart St;
Other locations:- All Saints Anglican Church 1865, 786 Cumberland St; the Otago Museum 1877, 419 King St; St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral 1878-86 and St Dominic’s Priory 1877, 288 Rattray St; Dunedin Police Station 1898 (former), 21 Dunbar St; the Otago Girls High School 1910, 41 Tennyson St; Dunedin Prison 1898 (former), 2 Castle St; the Southern Cross Hotel 118 High St (former) 1883; the Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance Building, 7 Liverpool St 1882; the Otago Boys High School 1885, 18 Arthur St; and many fine mansions line High Street numbered 400 onwards. It is a bit of a climb but gives you good views across Otago Harbour towards St Kilda too. Buses go along the street so take a bus out and walk back down the hill!

Central Otago Railway and the Taieri Gorge train.
The impressive Dunedin railway station, the most photographer building in NZ, was completed in 1906. It was designed by a government architect with tower, gables and dormer windows in an Edwardian Flemish extravaganza style reflecting the importance of rail travel at that time. Inside the pretty flour tiles are by Royal Doulton. The line from Christchurch reached Dunedin in 1878. But one of the first railway lines in NZ originated here on a narrow gauge line to Port Chalmers in 1873. The steam engine that opened the line is housed in the Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin. But even before the railway came from Christchurch the Otago Central Railway was formed in 1877 with the first 27 km section opening in 1889. That line which we travel on today through Taieri Gorge was extended to Middlemarch in 1891. The line was extended every few years opening up land for sheep farmers until it reached Alexandra in 1906. The following year it was extended to Clyde and finally to Cromwell it’s most westerly point in 1921. Fat lambs and sheep were then railed to meat processing works at Pareora and later Mosgiel in Dunedin. This all came to a decline (but not a cessation) in the 1970s when Britain entered the European Common Market and road transport become cheaper. The western part of the rail line was closed by a new dam in 1980 and finally along its entire length in 1990. The Taieri Gorge section of the line climbs quickly to 437 metres (1,434 feet) with curves, a 200 metre tunnel and a long viaduct. The viaduct is the longest and tallest wrought iron structure in NZ. The line between Dunedin and Middlemarch has 10 tunnels, 16 major bridges and 4 major viaducts. Dunedin not only had trains but also cable trams like San Francisco. Its cable car operated from 1881 to 1957 being one of the first and last in the world to operate.