Built around 1897, the Buckland Building was designed to blend in with its neighbour u2013 but distinguished tenants have given it a history in its own right.
The Buckland Building shares a facade with Masonic House next door, and is almost indistinguishable from the other building. However, the Buckland Building was built in the late 1890s, more than a decade later than the 1885 Masonic House.
Today the Buckland Building can be differentiated from its western neighbour by its square ground-floor window bays, at the Gore Street end of the block.
In 1898 the then unnamed building was owned by the Auckland Harbour Board. A 50-year lease was subsequently granted to Sir Henry Brett and Thomas Wilson Leys, newspaper proprietors, printers and publishers. In 1900 their Auckland Star newspaper had the widest circulation of any newspaper in New Zealand.
High-profile tenants and a name
Sir Henry had served briefly as Auckland’s mayor, and is also remembered for gifting the grand organ in Auckland’s Town Hall to the city. Leys, along with his brother William, made a substantial contribution towards the establishment of the Leys Institute library in Ponsonby.
The building had a variety of other leaseholders from 1922 to 1936, when engineering supplies business J. H. Buckland & Co Ltd took over the lower floors and gave the building its name. From 1936 to 1968 the New Womens Club (later named the Auckland Womens Forum) occupied the top floor.
Today the Buckland Building has been cleaned out and is leased to a variety of tenants on an interim basis, however in the near future, it will be fully renovated as part of the Britomart redevelopment program.
Find The Buckland Building
34 Customs Street East