First Church of Otago (Presbyterian) - Dunedin, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
S 45° 52.547 E 170° 30.282
59G E 461562 N 4919634
Quick Description: Historic Presbyterian Church in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 2/2/2013 2:54:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMG9KD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
The founding of the First Church dates to the founding of Dunedin in 1848 predominantly by Free Church settlers from Scotland. The location of the church was selected during the initial layout of the community. The church initially had a wood building constructed. By 1857 sufficient money had been raised by the congregation to build a building of more permanent materials but it was not until 1862 when a competition was held for a design for the church. The design was completed by R. A. Lawson, a young Australian architect. The construction of the church was further delayed when the Provincial Council decided reduce the height of Bell Hill the location of the church as it had proved to be too steep and was impediment to the business development for the growing community. The hill was reduced by some 12 meters thus providing more space for business development. The hill reduction took such a long time the Provincial Council financed the construction of a new wood church in 1864 which served the congregation until 1873.

Construction of First Church was begun in 1867 and completed in 1875. The church designed by Lawson in in a decorated Gothic style. The building was constructed with brick and faced with Oamaru stone. The dominate feature of the church is the spire which measures 54 metres (177 ft) in height. Just prior to the church opening in 1873 Lawson determined the spire was 15 feet short of its design and had a slight lean. The spire was dismantled and built to specifications and was completed in 1875. Another feature of the church are the interior and exterior carvings by Louis John Godfrey. The church also features a beautiful stained glass rose window.

The church was expanded in 1879 with the addition of the gallery which provided an additional 170 seats. The church continues to serve its congregation and is a dominate landmark in Dunedin.

The church is a Category I building on the New Zealand Heritage Trust Register.
Presbyterian Denomination: Unknown

Status: Active House of Worship

410 Moray Place
Dunedin, New Zealand

Date Built: Completed 1875

Architect: Robert Arthur Lawson

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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