Thursday, August 25, 2011

St Pauls' memorial tram shelter

The tram shelter in 1922. Reference 1-W1825, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

This was demolished during my lifetime, but I was too young to remember it, probably. At the point where Wellesley Street intersects with Symonds Street, beside St Pauls Church, there used to be a tram shelter, built by the parish as a war memorial in 1919, completed and opened in 1920.

A handsome stone tramway shelter, erected by the St Paul's Church authorities at Auckland as a war memorial, is rapidly nearing completion.
Poverty Bay Herald 11 March 1920

The Hon. J. G. Coates, Postmaster General, left to-day for Auckland, where he will open to-morrow a war memorial tram shelter erected by the parish of St. Paul's. He will return immediately to Wellington.
Evening Post 27 March 1920

According to the Historic Places Trust, the shelter was demolished in 1971. A real pity.


  1. Wow! I attended St Paul's from the early 1970s to the late 1980s - later, I was possibly their youngest ever member of the Vestry (executive) - and I had no idea about this structure, though it makes sense that it was there - in my churchgoing days that entry area was always rather underwhelming. It seems kind of wrong to demolish a war memorial: I wonder if it had anything to do with the motorway overbridge that was subsequently built? Or perhaps even in 1971, "undesirables" were hanging about (I can just imagine how appealing the dark corners of that tram shelter might have been).

    The Historic Places Trust register entry for the church ( notes that after WWII they briefly considered completing the church tower and spire as a war memorial too. It never happened.

  2. I suspect it was due to the roading changes. Looking at aerials, that corner seems to have been a bit "cut off" between 1959 and 2006. Seeing as the parish erected the tram shelter, and it was still on Anglican Diocesan land, they had every right to decide what to do with it. But St Pauls has always seemed to me to have a lopsided, unfinished look to it. As if a grand original plan has never been fulfilled. I still like it, though. One of my favourite buildings in the CBD.