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This early villa was the home of one of Akaroa’s leading builders.

Category: Dwellings
Date: 1890-92
Street Address: 114 Rue Jolie
HPT registered? No
District Plan Listed? Yes

The section on which this house stands was purchased in 1889 from a member of the Watkins family by John James Walker, who had arrived in Lyttelton in 1874 and had moved to Akaroa by 1876. He established a thriving business as a builder in the growing town. He built this square villa soon after buying the section as a home for himself, his wife Bonnette and their five children.

John Walker died in 1915, but his widow lived in the house until 1937 and a daughter owned the property until 1961.

This house was built early in the history of the villa in New Zealand. It is a transitional building between earlier cottages and later larger, more elaborate villas. It has some Classical detailing, such as the keystone in the arch over the small recessed porch, bracketed eaves and moulded cornices supported by brackets over the windows. The hipped roof is of shallower pitch than was typical of earlier cottages, but the rusticated weatherboards  mark it as an early rather than later villa.

In 2002, this villa and its neighbour (see 116 Rue Jolie) became commercial premises. It has since been extensively refurbished and is now a holiday home.


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