A fresh make-over is turning Mt Albert’s 100-year-old “community house” on the edge of the village into a more inviting base for local groups.
Auckland Council is budgeting $143,000 (plus 10 per cent for contingencies) for the spruce-up at 869 New North Rd (just down from the ASB and Barfoot and Thompson), which started a couple of weeks ago and will be completed around the first week of May.
A range of community groups, including core tenant Neighbourhood Support, have had to move out or hold their meetings elsewhere as the project advances..
The work involves repainting the entire exterior of the council-owned buildings (the main building on New North Rd and the associated one behind it), along with general maintenance and restoration, including:
- Two new timber-framed windows to match the existing windows;
- Replacing rotten cladding;
- Repairing and replacing the rear porch;
- Interior repairs, like plastering and painting damaged ceilings in the main “lounge” and kitchen.
Lisa Truttman of Timespanner says the building may have been on the site since before 1910 and was possibly built by Arthur Carr as a draper’s shop for his wife Kathleen.
Mrs Carr became the Mt Albert postmistress, and her shop served as the Post Office until the early 1930s. Lisa says it seems to have been a private residence until the mid-1970s, when it became the base for the Mt Albert Senior Citizens’ Club.
For a few years in the early 2000s, it became the base for the local community constable – until the decision was made to abandon local policing in favour of control from Avondale and Ponsonby bases.
Neighbourhood Support was in the community house until Easter – and will return to smarter surroundings late this month. During that spell Avon Lines, who chairs Neighbourhood Support Auckland, can be reached on 021 025 20629.