Dilworth Building – Queen Street, Auckland.

The Dilworth Building is a heritage mixed-use (residential apartments and shops on the ground floor) building at the corner of Customs Street and Queen Street in the Auckland CBD, New Zealand. The building by William Gummer & Reginald Ford was constructed between 1925 and 1927 and is listed as a “Historic Place – Category I” by Heritage New Zealand.

At the lower entry to Queen Street, the building was once envisaged as one half of a ‘gateway’ to the city and hailed as a visionary concept. However, the mirroring building on the opposite side of Queen Street was never constructed.

The building was constructed at the behest of James Dilworth as a rental property to help fund students at the Dilworth Ulster Institute (which later became Dilworth School). Originally the Dilworth Trust Board office was on the 9th floor (with a mezzanine floor) while the rest of the building was let out to tenants. The building was sold by the Dilworth Trust in the 1980s, but it still retains some of the original interiors.

It has housed the American consulate, and during World War II served as headquarters for the U.S. Army.

There have been a few stories through the years pointing to the building having its share of possible ghostly residents. From items moving (or thrown) around in various apartments, a tenant was woken by someone shouting in their ear; another was slapped awake by an ‘’invisible intruder’’.

A former resident claimed to have been frantically chased down a stair well in the early 90s, followed by an unseen (but loudly heard) presence. Being pushed on the stars was also not uncommon. When the building was emptied for renovations, footsteps ‘’of someone in the building, where there wasn’t anyone there’’ were reported by construction workers.

 

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