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Tupare To Be Celebrated In All Its Splendour

Taranaki Regional Council media release
15 October 2008
For immediate release

Tupare To Be Celebrated In All Its Splendour

Major refurbishments at a historic New Plymouth property will be celebrated in appropriate style this weekend.

Jazz, vintage cars and an Antiques Roadshow will be features of a free Garden Fair at Tupare this Saturday, 18 October. People can bring up to four items to be valued (no jewellery or paintings), with a $2 fee per item going to charity.

The Garden Fair will mark the completion of a project designed to extend Tupare’s appeal beyond the attractive gardens and beautiful vistas it has long been known for.

Food and crafts will also be on offer at the Mangorei Road property – along with an authentic taste of life in the mid 20th Century heyday of the two prominent and strong-willed men who shaped its original development.

James Chapman-Taylor, the renowned “arts and crafts” architect, designed Tupare’s stylish house for businessman Sir Russell Matthews in 1932. Unusually for the architect, he relinquished control of its construction to Matthews, who had firm ideas about what he wanted.

The result was a unique stately home with the unmistakeable Chapman-Taylor stamp but also reflecting the dreams and aspirations of the innovative Matthews, whose accomplishments included laying the first bitumen road in New Zealand.

Changes crept in over the ensuing years and now the property is owned and administered by the Taranaki Regional Council, which launched a renovation project in 2006 as it implemented a new management plan.

“We’ve taken out some of the later influences that have impacted on the house over the years,” says the Council’s Regional Gardens Manager, Greg Rine.

“Visitors can now get an authentic insight into the work of James Chapman-Taylor, the vision of Sir Russell Matthews, and the lifestyles of their era. It really cements Tupare as a cultural and historical attraction.

“As well as enjoying the superb grounds, visitors can get a feel for what life was like for the Matthews family back in the 1950s This is certainly adding depth and character to the functions that the house is hired for. ‘Relive the Splendour’ is the perfect catchline for the new logo that’s been developed for Tupare.

“And as has always been the case, the property is open every day and remains free to visit.”

The work on the house was part of a wider project at Tupare, which also included major restoration work in the hillside property’s landscaped garden containing majestic trees, a water feature and extensive plantings in different settings.

The cottage is now the interpretation centre for the property and a gathering point for garden workshops.

The project also included a new car park and gatehouse, new paths and lookouts and a new glasshouse.

As well as the new logo, Tupare also boasts a new website – http://www.tupare.info

Saturday’s Garden Fair at the property follows a small formal launch function held today (15 October).

A similar refurbishment project at the Taranaki Regional Council’s other heritage property, Hollard Gardens near Kaponga, will be celebrated with Farmers Markets during the Taranaki Garden and Rhododendron Festival.


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