268 West Tamaki Rd, Glendowie.
One of Auckland’s stately homes, the large house at 268 West Tamaki Rd has been owned and lovingly looked after by the School of Philosophy since 1989. It is used for regular weekly meetings but also serves as a splendid venue for residential study week-ends and weeks, and events throughout the year.
Including basement and attic sections the house is over 1250 sq m on four levels, has 20 bedrooms, a library, a self contained flat, large drawing room, four meeting rooms and a spacious conservatory. The grounds are 1.6 hectares of lawn and garden, and contain two cottages and an accommodation annex.
The views are spectacular with commanding views over the Half Moon Bay, Tamaki Estuary, and Brown’s Island.
The original house designed by the Auckland architectural firm of Chilwell and Trevithick was built in American colonial style for Sir Kenneth Myers in 1936. Between 1939 and 1945 the house served as a rest home for officers of the US military, and was purchased by Sir Robert Kerridge in 1946.
In 1953 the house sold again, this time to an American Catholic Order, the Sisters of the Cenacle who used it as a venue for retreats.
The Sisters of the Cenacle added the East wing in 1964, extending the number of meeting rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first floor, and then in 1987 after 34 years of ownership the house was sold to Williams Property Ltd for refurbishment and conversion into a rest home.
By 1989 however the main shareholders of Willams, the Smart Group, encountered financial difficulties and were forced to sell the property during recessionary market conditions. Thus the house came into the possession of the School of Philosophy, and we are now the 5th and second longest owners.
The original house was reviewed in Vol 1 of Building Today (1937).