Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum (from [cropped])






New Zealand

Prior to 1929, Auckland Museum occupied premises in central Auckland, beginning life in a two-room farm cottage in the suburb of Grafton. With one room for the Museum's fledgling collections and one room for the curator, New Zealand's first Museum soon outgrew this site, relocating to what was the Provincial Council Building in 1867 before moving once again to the old Post Office building in Princes Street three years later.

The Museum's first custom-built premises, to which it moved in 1876, were just along the road on Princes Street. Under the guidance of the visionary curator, Thomas Cheeseman, the Museum and its collections flourished, necessitating a further move and the commissioning of a world-wide architectural competition to design a new Museum for Auckland which would be combined with a war memorial to commemorate soldiers lost in World War I.

Funded by the Institute of British Architects, a £1,000 sterling prize drew over 70 entries, with Auckland firm Grierson, Aimer and Draffin winning the competition with their neo-classical building reminiscent of Greco-Roman temples. The official opening and consecration ceremony for Auckland War Memorial Museum was held on 28 November 1929. The total cost of the building was NZP250,000.


Auckland Museum, Private Bag 92018, Victoria Street West, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand



John Early

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