Friday, February 15, 2013

FSO - Oldest building

I knew where to find it, just followed the path to Reyburn House.


Whangarei's oldest house started life as a small cottage, the home of Robert Reyburn Junior, son of one of the first settlers in the area.  Robert and his brothers James and John are commenorated in the central city street names.  It expanded, presumably as Robert's family grew or perhaps as he prospered; the family were involved in the wool and shipping industries.  It is the only surviving house of the original pioneer settlement.  It fell into ruin as the area around it became industrial.  

I remember its move to its current location in 1984, and learned yesterday that there had been an earlier move in 1972.  It has been the home of the Northland Society of Arts since 1966 and thanks to their efforts now  this gracious, lovingly restored and preserved colonial building is an art gallery.

 

One of the ladies working in the gallery told me that when it came time to redecorate the inside of the house the Historic Places Trust had insisted that they apply wallpaper reminiscent of the era of the house.  But the Arts Society had won that argument and made sure the inside is vibrant and alive.   It sure is!

 

I'm glad this topic gave me the incentive to find out a bit more about the history of Reyburn House.  It's a lovely building, a place I like to visit occasionally and I will appreciate it a bit more now I think.  I know I'm going to enjoy looking at the oldest buildings in the rest of the FSO team's towns.

14 comments:

  1. The building is wonderful, and I do love those bright colors inside.

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  2. The outside belies the inside. I love the colored walls.

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  3. The interior is so beautiful!

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  4. It's a mercy when old buildings like this are given new life and a piece of heritage is saved.
    The floors are beautiful.

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  5. The interior is spectacular. It is a wonderful building.

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  6. I do like how they did the interior. It is beautiful. I am so glad they saved the old place too. Thanks for sharing the history.

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  7. I love when they preserve old buildings like that even if it does sometimes involve moving them from the original spot.

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  8. Thanks for showing the inside of the home. They certainly did a wonderful job in restoring it.

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  10. Great photo for today's theme. I was not fortunate to get inside my subject as it was so busy and full of people when I was by there. There are inside photos online of Old Talbott Tavern but I did not feel it fair to use those since I did not take them. Yes it is gonna be a hard job to choose this week.
    QMM

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  11. This is fantastic -I love the vibrant colors inside!

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  12. The colors are fantastic. I like lots of color, bright, happy colors, and there were times I owned homes I could paint and did I ever! This is a wonderful post and the photos and story are interesting and informative, but most of all, this post pays homage to a family with a history.

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  13. What a lovely photo essay, and what a beautiful building. I particularly like the last photo, through the arch and looking down the hallway to the front of the building. So glad that the historic preservation group was able to save the house for all to enjoy.

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  14. I must pay another visit in March!

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