The mid-1980s proposal to demolish Wellington's Mission to Seamen building was the catalyst for a public backlash against what many thought was the indiscriminate destruction of the city's heritage buildings. An unprecedented campaign was mounted to save the building. It included painting messages on the building promoting its retention and the creation of a human chain around it when its demolition seemed imminent. This photograph shows architect Stuart Niven on the morning of 9 June 1986. He had been on watch outside the structure since 6.30 a.m. to ensure demolition crews did not arrive without warning. In the end the government owners backed down and the building was saved. It was later converted into upmarket apartments, destroying the spacious interior hall in the process.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Photograph by Greg King
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.