This photo shows Partington's Mill part-way through its demolition in April 1950. The six-storey flour mill had been built in 1850–51 by Charles Partington and its location on the Karangahape Road ridgeline made it an immediate landmark in Auckland. Partington built a biscuit factory next door and the business passed down through the family. The last owner, Joseph Partington, had gifted the windmill to the city in his will so it might be preserved, but his will was not found in his estate when he died in 1941. The Supreme Court declared Partington had died intestate, so the mill became the property of the extended family, who promptly sold it. The city council had a copy of the bequest but did not contest the finding.
Perhaps finally realising the historical significance of the structure, in 1945 the council fostered the formation of the Old Windmill Preservation Society. Its aim was to move the windmill to another site, but public fundraising fell short of what was needed and the idea lost momentum. In 1947 the owners of the structure signalled their intention to demolish the windmill and offered the council the opportunity to salvage the materials. The council declined because of the cost and Auckland's oldest and best-known landmark was destroyed. Its loss was a catalyst for the creation of the National Historic Places Trust in 1955.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.