Wellington’s original little house to have a new lease of life as an artist’s studio

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The house at 251 Tinakori Rd has been in one family for over a century.

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The house at 251 Tinakori Rd has been in one family for over a century.

The 150-year-old “original little house” on Tinakori Road in Thorndon sold for $ 835,000.

The 44-square-meter cottage, previously owned by the same family for 122 years, was sold to Wellington artist Helen Casey and her husband, Tony Casey. The couple plan to live in the space and Helen will use it as a working studio.

The chalet, on 92m² of land at 251 Tinakori Rd opposite Premier House, is said to have been built in the 1860s. It only has three rooms: an open-plan kitchen and a living space, a double bedroom and a laundry room and a bathroom. outdoor bathrooms.

The house was put up for sale by Roz Scott of Tickadeeboo.

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The house was put up for sale by Roz Scott of Tickadeeboo.

Former owner Paul Duignan said he and his siblings who inherited the property “would not have sold it for less than that”.

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“But the figure was what our realtors Mike Robbers and Socheata Tep from Lowe & Co said it would go.

“We always knew we were dreaming if we thought it would be fine for the big money that some people thought it could.”

The combined kitchen and living room overlook the street - and Premier House across the road.

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The combined kitchen and living room overlook the street – and Premier House across the road.

The chalet had been owned by the Duignan family since her great-grandmother, Mary Ann Duignan, bought it in 1899.

MARTIN DE RUYTER / STUFF

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Mary Ann Duignan was a well-known figure around Thorndon in the 19th century. She was illiterate but a shrewd businesswoman, who ended up owning several properties in the neighborhood after using funds raised for her after her husband died in an accident.

The cottage has a bedroom which opens onto the courtyard.

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The cottage has a bedroom which opens onto the courtyard.

Duignan said the chalet’s historic character added to its value. Conservation architect Chris Cochrane described it as an example of simplicity in typical housing design of the time.

“Obviously, with people wanting to reduce their environmental footprint, this type of life is now starting to come back. “

Tony Casey has said he and his wife will be moving from Makara. They planned to furnish the cottage in the image of its time and had just found an oak table with square legs that dated from the 1700s (the legs) and 1800s (the table top).

The outdoor bathroom and the laundry room are combined.

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The outdoor bathroom and the laundry room are combined.

Casey said the history of the place makes it a great story. “And we will have to be careful to maintain the integrity of the house.”

He didn’t mind living in nearby neighborhoods. “We have been married for 30 years and have lived in strange places.”

Paul Duignan said he was sad to see the chalet leave his family. “But it has been a week of severing ties with Thorndon as our 99-year-old Aunt Mary also passed away last week. She grew up in Thorndon and was the last of this Thorndon generation in our family.

The loft space cannot be called a second bedroom, but it could definitely work for guests.

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The loft space cannot be called a second bedroom, but it could definitely work for guests.

“But the good thing is that we will still be able to walk or drive past the chalet at 251 and maintain our connection with it, and now see Helen working outside to create some wonderful artwork. art inside. ”

The chalet has a “remarkable houses” plaque on the outside and is mentioned in walking tours.

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The chalet has a “remarkable houses” plaque on the outside and is mentioned in walking tours.

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