HISTORY OF THE BARTONS BUILDING
The Bartons Building designed by architect William Henry Dunning (1872-1933) and built in 1928 by G. Lawrence & Sons was for decades a city attraction at night. Its neon signs brightened the Bartons corner, with little pink pigs that ran along the verandah, green lambs that leapt along the parapet, a large bullock standing on the top of the building and a suited pig that doffed his top hat. It was a common thing for people to slow their vehicles to view the building and many a child has fond memories of the splendid colourful display.
Bartons Building 1975 | Photo Ray Hargreaves, Hocken Collection
Today the building is owned by Chris Willis and Andrew White of Willis White & Co Ltd. They have their own personal attachment to the building, they were tenants on the second floor of the Bartons Building when they started their business in 1989.
Since purchasing the building Willis and White have invested in major refurbishment and strengthening. Today the building is used as commercial office space with tenants occupying single offices or entire floors. The lift is particularly nostalgic with it’s walls featuring a photo of the neon lights taken in the 1960’s. The interior of the building is modern, sleek and boasts the latest in energy efficiency and technology.
Historic information and photos about the Bartons Building have been sourced from David Murray’s website www.builtindunedin.com
For an informative look into the histories of Dunedin buildings and architects we recommend visiting this site.