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Source: Auckland Council

St Heliers Community Library is going back to its original 1920s colours with a fresh coat of paint as part of its general maintenance programme.

During lockdown, Richard Bland, Heritage Assets Advisor for Auckland Council, made use of the time to investigate the original paintwork on the outside of the St Heliers Community Library building.

“I was able to determine that the colour of the entrance doors in the early 1920s would have been a close match to the Kaitoke Green colour, from the Resene Heritage Colour Palette range.”

“The Auckland Council Heritage Unit is always looking for opportunities to enhance the heritage values of such sites, particularly scheduled buildings. One of the best ways of doing this is to restore historic paint schemes for buildings to reflect the original architectural intent of the building designer.

“The St Heliers library is scheduled for its physical attributes as one of its heritage values, so revealing or reverting to a known historic paint scheme is a great way of achieving this objective.

“There has been a great deal of interest in this project, especially once scaffolding went up and works stated.”

“Ōrākei Local Board is very happy to help fund the restoration of the historical building,” explains board member Colin Davis, who has been one of the driving forces behind the change. 

“I believe it is important to protect these wonderful heritage buildings dotted throughout the local board area. This one, in particular, as a hub for the community, adds to the appeal and character of St Heliers.”

As well as repainting the doors and window frames, improvements are being made to the heritage metal lamps on either side of the main entrance which will now have lighting, and the glazed fanlight above this entrance will be lit to display the beautiful coloured lead lights.

Works on the soffits, window frames and doors are underway. Restoration of the metal features will be carried out over the next few months