Sunday, April 24, 2011

Viewing the vanished: Kilbryde

Sir John Logan Campbell's home "Kilbryde" is, today, long gone. It was demolished when much of the cliff at Campbell's Point  it was situated upon was carved away for the new main trunk railway link through the eastern suburbs, the Tamaki Drive, and for fill for the harbour reclamations in the 1920s.

One thing I think is marvellous -- the use of today's technologies to bring the past back to life so we can appreciate what once was. The subject of this post is a case in point.

Earlier this month, architectural designer David Hirtzell contacted me out of the blue to show me a project he has been working on -- to create a digital 3-d image of the lost Kilbryde within Google Sketch-up and Google Earth. Here are some screen shots of his work.

Kilbryde's location:

David is keen to hear from anyone who has information as to the interior and layout of the house, and any colour scheme it may have had.

Thanks, David, for sharing your wonderful work. Apologies for the delay in putting this online.

26 April: An update from David.
Anyone interested in Kilbryde must visit the fully restored Monte Cecila Pah Homestead in Hillsborough. It was designed by the same architect (Mahoney) a couple of years before Kilbryde and  is very similar in style inside and out.


  1. That's incredible. Fantastic work!

  2. WOW what an amazing piece of history to have lost ;'( and an incredible use of technology .. .. ..

  3. That is incredibly fantastic!
    To bring back to 'life' that which has been long gone and give a really good impression of how it never know, the "I don't care"s might finally jump the fence and start fighting to protect what we've got left :)

  4. The vertical photo locating the house in today's setting was particularly interesting to me as I sometimes walk the dog in that section of the park. Will certainly visit with added interest next time.

  5. whoahh that is amazing! Mannn it is huge isn't it - how imposing it must have been. Seems everything he did was big.

    Just last week i was working with the personal medical chest of JLC ... jars of goodness knows what - have to be careful handling that. In the bottom drawer are the most cool splints for broken bones. It's in Sharland's apothecary shop in Auckland 1866 street - but currently the lid is down on it. Pretty impressive i must say all the same due to its size!

  6. Seriously, Sandy -- you have a heck of a cool job!

  7. Amazing, I find this sort of digital archaeology stuff very exciting...

  8. For some reason this park is named after Dove Myer Robinson and you will find many plaques, monuments etc dedicated to various other people, but surprisingly not a mention of John Logan Campbell or Kilbryde ever having been there.

  9. The plaque marking the renaming dates from 20 April 1981, so it's still relatively recent in terms of the park's long history. I think there should be something for Sir John as well -- perhaps naming one of the paths Kilbryde Way or something ...

  10. Thanks re comment Spansycools. The job has its moments LOL :) I love the old stuff ;)

    Cheers ears

  11. Sandy, I assume you work at the Auckland Museum? When I was a kid our favourite thing in the museum was the 1866 street (centennial street as I remember). I think that's where I got my fascination with all this stuff.

  12. Indeed David i do :)

    The street is very cool isn't it! I've only been in Auckland for just on 4 years so i grew up with Christchurch Street in Canterbury museum instead, however no matter what museum, i think this type of gallery is perennially popular!

    Let's hope it has the same effect on todays younger generations ... museums are fantastic places! Have you visited it lately David?


  13. I am amazed at what you have done to recreate where Kilbryde was situated as I have driven past many times and wondered where exactly it was. It saddens me to think that a house of such grand proportions was demolished after only 40 years. To think that Logan Campbell GAVE Auckland Cornwall Park and that the Auckland Council back then did not see this house as worth saving for future generations. Thankfully now the Pah Homested has been restored for us to enjoy.