NOW FULLY RESTORED, THIS FORMER WAREHOUSE AND YOUNG SERVICEWOMEN’S CLUB IS TODAY HOME TO A NEW ZEALAND FINE SUIT MAKER, A COCKTAIL BAR AND BOUTIQUE OFFICES.
Architect Edward Bartley designed the original building here in 1897, but in 1934 it was extensively remodelled by Wade & Bartley Architects in the contemporary Art Deco style.
The first tenants, merchants Gilmore & Co, occupied the building for more than 20 years. It subsequently served as a warehouse and retail space for a variety of businesses.
During WWII the building became famous as the home of the Young Women’s Christian Association Downtown Club. It opened in 1942 as a ‘safe’ social venue for young servicewomen, whom it was feared might otherwise frequent hotel bars.
The Club attracted 3000 women members in its first month and with facilities including snack bars, lounges and a dance floor, regularly drew crowds of 1000 people a day.
Carefully preserved historic detail
After the Club’s closure in 1945, the Levy Building was occupied by multiple tenancies until its acquisition in 1985 by Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Council.
In 2008 Cooper and Company, working with architects Mercer & Mercer and heritage consultants Salmond Reed, completed a full renovation of the building.
Numerous heritage features have been retained, including kauri blocks recovered from beneath the old foundations and displayed on the ground floor, the original sarking on Level 2 and even graffiti on the Level 2 balustrade.
Kauri tongue and groove floors reclaimed from the railway station’s original Platform 54 are used on the stair landings. The lead light ‘Q’ design on the ground floor is based on the original stained glass and the solid plaster exterior relief, marbling and colour scheme are all based on the original designs.
Today the ground floor is home to Xuxu the sister bar of Cafe Hanoi and RJB Design, and the upstairs floors are let as boutique office space.
IN THIS BUILDING
Find The Levy Building
20 Customs Street East