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Piecing together our history

Piecing together our history

August 18, 2004

North Shore City Council needs your help in piecing together the background to a property in Glenfield which has historical significance.

There is strong anecdotal evidence that 1 Sunset Rd was the site of David Heron's Cut Hill Gum Store in the late 1880s and early 1900s.

But while a heritage assessment found the remains of an earlier concrete structure within the walls of the 1920s bungalow now on site, there is no indisputable proof that it is the store.

North Shore City Council bought the building at auction in May for $320,000.

The council's strategy and finance committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says it is vital that the city's heritage is preserved.

"Glenfield was well known as a gum digging area in the 19th century and we were lucky to secure this building," he says.

"If we hadn't acted quickly someone else would have bought it and the remains of what is very likely to have been the gum store could have been lost forever."

A heritage assessment of the building uncovered remains of footings, board and batten ceilings, Victorian architraves and concrete of an age and type that date from the late 1880s to early 1900s.

The bungalow there now appears to have been built around the earlier structure in the 1920s, and needs extensive maintenance work including repairs to the roof.

Unless evidence is found that it was originally David Heron's Cut Hill Gum Store though, the property cannot be added to the list of more than 200 others protected under the council's District Plan.

"There must be someone out there with some more knowledge, and hopefully a photograph, of that area between the 1880s and early 1900s," says Councillor Holman.

"They may recall the store themselves, or remember older family members talking about the area at the turn of the century."

If no further evidence comes to light, North Shore City Council could still protect the property by putting a covenant on it.

That would mean that if it were sold, any redevelopment might need to protect the earlier parts of the existing building. Alternatively, a less strict covenant might just require that records and photographs would have to be taken before any removal or demolition could take place.

If you have any information that could help preserve this piece of North Shore City's heritage, please call the council's Actionline on 486 8600.


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