This building at 54 Molesworth Street, Wellington, was the headquarters for the DSIR Soil Survey (later called Soil Bureau) from 1940 until 1962. It was in poor condition after being damaged during the 1942 Wairarapa earthquake. After a building inspection revealed that the large collection of soil samples stored in the attic exceeded the strength of the rafters, the samples were hurriedly moved elsewhere.
It was hard to describe the building as anything but an eyesore. During the royal visit in 1953, it was covered in bunting to disguise it.
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University of Waikato
Photograph by John McCraw
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