Me! Because art and history are important to me, I get hooked up in my research sometimes – and probably drive other people crazy. Oh well, here is another instalment in my “Art History of Dunedin” series. I was having a bit of a moan recently about historical sites being destroyed. Well as for the old Art Gallery Building at Logan Park , it’s not as bad as it first seemed.
Here is a photo of the building as it was for the 1925-26 South Seas exhibition. The Gallery building is the long symmetrical brick one running from the far middle left of the picture, behind the building with the dome.
Part 1 of a 2-part panorama at the opening of the Dunedin Exhibition, 17 November 1925
It was built as an art gallery and after the exhibition was bought by the Sargood family and donated to the city as a new gallery. Over the years various additions were made until 1996 the gallery moved to current site in the Octagon in the refurbished DIC building.
The old gallery has most recently been used by the Sports Academy and Highlanders Super 14 rugby team. I’ve been told that the tenants and the land lord (the City Council) assumed the building would be bulldozed so the inside plaster work has been badly damaged, although the structure is meant to be sound. The current plan is the bulldoze all the additions and leave the original building standing with the 1970s entrance removed and old portico restored(Correct me if I’m wrong). This probably seems fair. The building is noted as a significant structure on the District plan and its location lends its self to some interesting possible uses, while retaining the heritage values. Lets hope!
But look – this is what happens when a former gallery becomes an indoor sports centre:
More photos here . NOTE: These photos were taken 2-3 years ago and I am told there is way more damage now.