Avondale: Where we came from, where we are now , and where we are going
Avondale's Buildings – Past and Present
by Room 19 (Year 4)
The Avondale Hotel
The first Avondale Hotel was built around 1860 on the corner of Rosebank Rd and Great North Rd but it burnt down. The second one was built on the corner of Wingate St and Great North Rd around 1870 but burnt down in December 1872. The third one was built there in 1873 and it also burnt down in 1888.
The fourth Avondale Hotel was built in 1889. It was made of plaster over brick and had kauri beams and woodwork inside.
After 1910 it was empty for a while until it became the Avondale Post Office in 1914. In 1938 it was sold and became a private hotel called the Avoncourt Hotel. It was demolished in 1967.
In 1967 a supermarket called Coopers was built on the site. The building was altered considerably in 1976 and became the Inner Circle Tavern. Around 1991 the building again considerably altered and is now a group of shops including a bank and a cafe.
The Library is in Rosebank Rd next to the Community Centre and close to the shopping centre. Before the Library was built, the old wooden hall beside the Hollywood Cinema was used in 1868, also from 1872 at around 1886 and from 1931 until 1973.
The new Library was built in 1973. It is made of brick and glass. It is part of the Auckland City Council Library system.
There are books, magazines,videos and computers to use. There is a special Children's Section and a Homework Club is run.
Avondale Primary School
The first school at the corner of Crayford St and Great North Rd was opened in 1882. It was made of wood. It was built for all the children in the Avondale and Blockhouse Bay area. Children from 7 years old to 12 years old had to come to school. Some of the children came to school by horse. The classes were big. There was a big bell in a tower on the top of the roof. The first school building was demolished in the early 1970s because it was too old.
The new school was opened around 1974. There have been many changes to the school since then. Room 13 was turned into a Computer Room, the Library became the Teachers' Resource Room and Rooms 14 and 15 were turned into a much larger Library. The small Administration block was demolished and replaced by a much larger building. It was opened by the Prime Minister in 2003.
An old wooden classroom block had been used as a Dental Clinic, a Reading Clinic and Speech Clinic for many years. A new Special Education block was built near the front of the school and the old building was demolished. The present Rooms 18 and 19 and the School Hall were built in 1998. A bell tower was built on the top of the Hall to remind us of how the first Avondale Primary School looked.
The Hollywood Cinema was first built as the Avondale Borough Council's Town Hall in 1915. It is in St George's Rd opposite St Ninian's Church. It is made of brick. At firs5t only the front of the building was brick. It has pillars and wide steps. The rest of the building was wooden but eventually the Council completed all of the building in brick.
In 1927 Avondale became part of the Auckland City Council and Avondale didn't need a Town Hall of its own. The building became a cinema called the Grosvenor and is now called the Hollywood Cinema. It is one of the few suburban cinemas still in use.
There is one of the few Wurlitzer organs in New Zealand in the Hollywood. Sometimes there are organ performances there for the public.
Avondale Police Station
The old Police Station was in the shopping centre in Great North Rd. It was built of wood as the Constable's house. There were stables for the horses and there were some cells behind the house. As more and more people came to live in the area there was a need for more policemen in the station. Eventually the Police Station was too small and a new Police Station was built. The old station is now a boarding house.
The new Police Station was opened in 1976. It is also in Great North Rd but away from the shopping centre.
Avondale Railway Station
The first Railway Station was nothing like the one today. It was built in 1880. There were a number of changes over the years to the station. It was a place for people to wait for trains, to buy train tickets, collect their mail and send telegrams. There was even a waiting room with a fireplace so that people could be warm while waiting for their trains in winter. There were also other rooms for the railway staff.
The old Railway Station was moved to Swanson in 1995 and it is now used as a cafe. The station now only consists of a platform and a small shelter which is open on two sides. It was thought that the station might be moved closer to Crayford St and the school this will probably not happen. There are plans to let it easier for passengers to use the station and for another set of tracks to go from Avondale to Henderson.
Saint Ninian's Church
St Ninian's Church was built near the corner of Great North Rd and St George's Rd in 1859 to 1861. The church is made of wood and has some stained glass windows. It was a Presbyterian church and churchgoers came from Avondale, Henderson and all the way to Helensville and Kaukapakapa on Sundays. The hall was used as the first Avondale Primary School with 7 pupils. The church has been restored and such things as toilets and a kitchen have been added. The building is now owned by the Auckland City Council. It is still used for church servives and for community activities.
There is a graveyard at the back of the church. It has not been used for burials for over 100 years. The Auckland City Council looks after the buildings and the graveyard.
The oldest block of shops in Avondale is Page's Building. It was built in 1903 as a general store. People could buy all sorts of things – groceries, clothing and even feed for horses! The building has been divided into a number of shops such as a second-hand clothing shop and a pizza shop.
The Avondale Spider shop was built in 1916. Other shops were built in the 1920s and 1930s. A number of other shops were built in the 1960s and the Video shop next to the school was built as a Home Decoration shop in the 1970s. The most recent shops were built in the 1980s.
In the 1980s there was a supermarket called Four Guys opposite the school. It has been demolished and part of the site was used for housing. There have been plans for the rest of the area to be developed with townhouses and shops but at the moment the area is unused. There are now no supermarkets in Avondale.
Thanks to Lisa Truttman for helping us obtaining information for our report.