Conservation Approved for Devonport Bear Garden

Posted by on Oct 07, 2010 | 3 Comments

Contrary to popular belief, the wall was actually to keep the bear safe from local cats

Contrary to popular belief, the wall was actually to keep the bear safe from local cats

Thursday, 7 October 2010, 11:51 am

Press Release: Grant Gillon

“I am delighted that Council has agreed to assist owners in conserving the historic Bear Garden Wall in Devonport” said North Shore City councillor and Chair of the Strategy and Finance Committee, Grant Gillon.

“This Victorian attraction is part of our heritage and I have been concerned at its deterioration over the years,” said Grant Gillon.

The Strategy and Finance Committee, of Council, passed a motion at its last meeting “That a one-off grant of $20,000 be funded from the existing heritage strategy project and be provided to the North Shore Heritage Trust, to be used solely for assisting private property owners with conservation of the Bear Garden Wall”.

The relevant resolutions were released onto the public agenda today, following consultation of the owners of the relevant properties in Devonport.

The bear garden wall conservation support is the latest initiative in a list of heritage initiatives.

“This term of Council has been proactive in addressing North Shore’s heritage issues. This has included two important district plan changes that assist in protecting heritage areas of Devonport, Northcote Point and Birkenhead. Up until now, North Shore has never had a heritage plan. We have also been instrumental in budgeting for a comprehensive heritage planning strategy that identifies, categorises and develops conservation plans for heritage areas on the North Shore.

The bear garden wall was originally built in 1882 to contain a large block on land on the Devonport waterfront. It was an initiative to attract visitors to Devonport in order to make the ferries more viable. It was not successful and the property was subsequently subdivided. However, the wall serves as a reminder of the areas early commercial activites and is now a Category ‘A’ listed building in North Shore City’s District Plan.

In recent years, the wall has suffered from deterioration and has collapsed in parts.

North Shore City has allocated a budget of $20,000 to the North Shore Heritage Trust, to be used solely for assisting private property owners with conservation of the Bear Garden Wall.

3 comments

  1. Ric says:

    What a waste of money. Why dont all the people who want the wall saved pay for it? Have we not already wasted enough money on the Vic theatre?

  2. Ian Free says:

    I am all in favour of funds going to this project. I hope the Heritage Trust will do a good job on the restoration, as I expect they will – consider the Vic.

    Who cares that the reason for the original wall-building was not successful in bringing crowds of visitors on the ferries. We do not need the straw of historical success to make a good brick or two, and so produce something which will be a good asset to present-day D’port. Signed IF

  3. F says:

    The wall has not only deteriorated but also lost some of its character, and the explanations of its history. The plaque on the corner of Garden Terrace was not replaced after demolition by car with naval driver; the wall in Clarence St on the corner of Anne St was plastered over, presumably by the homeowner, and the plaque removed.

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