Wellington cottage

PHOTO: The two-bedroom cottage is 80sqm, and sits on a small plot of 104sqm. TOMMY’S

Charming Historic Cottage with a Colorful Past and Modern Amenities

A Stand Against Progress and the Last of Its Kind

No-one likes to be evicted from a place where they’ve lived their entire life, especially when it’s a cottage that has been in the family for years. But it seems you can stop progress – Molly Molloy, who lived in this cute cottage in Walter St, Te Aro, Wellington for 60 years, managed to stop the council taking her land while all around her, others caved. That’s why this is the last cottage standing in this part of the city. The neighbors are all commercial premises – they include a carpark, a repair shop, and a Plumbing World.

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A Stalwart Homeowner’s Triumph Over Industrialization

Alice O’Styke of Tommy’s Real Estate is selling the two-storey character cottage built in 1892, and has found out some of its interesting history. “While Molly was living here, the council decided to industrialize the whole area and bought up all the villas around this one. The story goes the houses were then left to go to ruin, in the hope that Molly would give in and sell out, but she wouldn’t – I have even seen a photo of those old houses, and you could see right through them. Holding out against progress for decades – the original owners of this Te Aro cottage refused to sell out, and it remains a character gem, albeit fully renovated. “There are hilarious stories of people coming to Molly’s door, asking if she would sell, and she would chase them away with broomsticks.”

A Beautiful Blend of Old and New

O’Styke says after Molly was gone, the next owner retrofitted the cottage, and it was then bought in 2005 by the current owners. “They started up the Awa Press printing business on the premises, and then outgrew the space, so it has been a home rental since. A prominent artist lived there and was often seen painting out the front.

Preserving the Original Character

The house was originally painted hot pink, but now it’s lilac, and it’s very cool.” O’Styke says all the original character has been preserved in the renovation, including the original native timber floorboards, sash windows, high ceilings, and sloping gable ceilings in the two bedrooms on the upper floor. But there are modern amenities, including an eye-catching kitchen and bathroom, and the living areas are open-plan. The original fire surround remains as a centrepiece of the sunny living room. And there’s even an unexpected pretty walled rear garden, with grass, brick paving, trees, hedges, and seating.

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Great Location with a Small Trade-Off

On the downside, there is no off-street parking, but plenty of space for bikes and scooters. The property, at 16 Walter St, Te Aro, Wellington, has an RV of $1,030,000, and Tommy’s is inviting enquiries over $899,000.


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