A hand up for our heritage

Local historian, Lisa Truttman outside the art deco building at 1862 Great North Road

Like our old folk, old buildings have wonderful stories to tell when we look beneath the weathered façade. Such is the case with Avondale’s former post office at 1862 Great North Road (now housing Prochem Pharmacy). Fortunately, Avondale has local heritage heroes like Lisa Truttman keeping these stories alive. Most recently, Lisa assisted in the addition of the old post office to the Heritage list in Category 2.

The Post Office is a good example of the Art Deco style applied to public and commercial architecture in the 1930s and represents the work of notable architect, Llewellyn S. Piper. Its construction in 1938 followed the arrival of electric trams in Avondale in 1932 and helped cement the location as an anchor-point for the continued development of the Avondale business area.

The building joins the Hollywood Cinema, St Ninians Hall and the old Avondale Public Hall on the heritage protection list, which acts to notify the public about their importance to the local community.

Lisa is well-known locally for the numerous heritage positions she has held – she is currently president of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc, amongst others; she authored Heart of the Whau: the story of the centre of Avondale; was a one-time Mainstreet administrator and is now a full time researcher on historical topics.

Why this love of the area? Lisa lives in the same Avondale house she grew up in. For her, Avondale is her “turangawaewae” – a place, she says, she feels re-charged in every time she returns home.