Saturday, April 21, 2012

Epsom substation

In amongst character villas and bungalows on The Drive in Epsom, stands this beauty-in-brick: the 1930 Epsom substation, built by the Auckland Electric Power Board.

The first substation in the district dated from 1917, on Manukau Road. But, according to the History of Epsom (Epsom & Eden District Historical Society, 2006), with increasing development in the area from the 1920s, it soon became imperative that a substation be built close to the main Balmoral Road.

The architect has yet to be determined, but my money would be on Wade & Bartley, designers of the power board's Queen Street offices also in 1930. It rates Cat II with NZ Historic Places Trust, and is scheduled B on the old Auckland City Council district plan.


  1. I love this old building.
    Call me bizarre, but whenever I drive past, I think what a great home it could be converted into!

  2. Apparently, the Onehunga substation built to power the trams has been converted into apartments ... and a lady I met that day said she'd love to live in the Epsom one. What an impact it would make on visitors who came calling!

  3. A.M. Bartley and H.G. Wade, are probably the designers of this building which was constructed by builder Bert Grinter (1882-1974) who had worked as a builder on his own account in the South Island for over a decade before relocating to Auckland in 1922.

    I saw this every day on my way to school as I grew up Merivale Avenue whose entrance is directly across the Drive from this building. I was frankly very disappointed to discover that other Electricity Substations were not like our one.