Story: Public buildings

Government Buildings

Government Buildings

This is an 1875 elevation drawing of Wellington's neoclassical-style Government Buildings by its architect, William Clayton. It was erected the following year in wood fashioned to look like stone. The four-storey building became an immediate landmark, and the claim that it was the largest wooden building in the world became a Wellington refrain. Historians suggest it is actually the largest wooden office building. It initially housed all the government executive – ministers and their departments – but within a few years the executive had outgrown the building and new space was required. In 1996 it became Victoria University of Wellington's law school.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: D-016-006
Wash drawing by William Henry Clayton

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Public buildings - Central-government buildings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 October 2023)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 20 Jun 2012