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Great changes are brewing in connection witli the accommodation of several of the branches of the Justice Department in Wellington. For a long time tlie polico brancli here has been crowded to excess in the Lambton Quay station, and even when some five or six years ago a mansard roof (or extra story) was added to the building, it only served to stall off for the time the growing necessities of Justice in Wellington. For somo twenty years past there have been complaints about the stuffiness and poor light of the Supreme Court. The old Magistrate's Court was about on a par with the present higher Court, but for some years a large airy, well-lighted courtroom has been in use, but the old gloom still lingers round the depressing precincts of the Supreme Court. Later on this is to be altered, and steps are being talcen, slowly but surely, to bring about a better state of things by giving Dame Justice a better throne room, and her servants better quarters, from the Judges downwards. The movement was initiated by the Hon. A. L. Herdman, Minister of Justice in the present Government, when he made a compact with the City Council to close up that part of Whitmore Street between the Government Buildings and the Courthouse block, and give ihe Corporation in exchange an area of land to provide for a continuation of Sto Jt Street through the back of the Government • Buildings grounds to Featherston Street, thus providing a fourth arterial "get-away" from the i site of the new Central Railway Station in Bunny Street (the other three ways being Lambton Quay, Featherston Street, and Customhouse Quay). The acquisition of.the western end of 'Whitmore Street will give the Government another 80ft. frontage to Lambton Quay, which, with the fences and gardens removed, will mean a very valuable block for future building operas tions. Probably the Minister will not Eroceed with the 'erection of the new aw Courts for some time yet, but the initial steps have been taken, firstly, in the extension of the Courthouse block, and, secondly, bv the acquistion of the lease of the old Theatre Boyal block, extending from Jolinstsn to Waring Taylor Street, where the new Police Headquarters Building is to be erected. The New Structure. The foundations of the new Police Headquarters are within a few weeks of completion, and a glance at them gives a very good idea of the prospective strength of the new building and its extent. The foundations have been built by day labour, but /the building from the earth-line is to be built by contract. Tenders close at noon on April 20. The new police block will consist of a brick, steel, and concrete building of four stories and a basement, having frontages of 105 ft. to Johnston and Waring Taylor Streets, by a depth of 170 feet. The whole of the area thus encompassed will not be biult over. In the centre or the eastern side will be an open courtyard, 70ft. by 60ft., which serves many purposes, not the least of which is the light it affords the rooms with an interior aspect. It will be a drill-yard, back-yard, exercise-yard, etc., with a cart entrance from each street. Other than this space tho building will rise four stories above tho ground, except in the case of the cell wing (which connects the two frontage buildings on' the western side of the block), which will only be three stories high. The style may be described as modern rennaissance, which means, architectur ally, a free adaptation of modern styles for the purpose intended. The building is to be erected in concrete up to the first floor, then faced with red-press brick to the concrete parapet, and ornamented centrally with half a dozen concrete columns extending from the second flood lino to the parapet. Tho basement, which extends from Johnston Street and Waring Taylor Street, has numerous compartments, including those to be used as a police museum, storage for police records, dark room, room for unclaimed goods, boiler rooms, a cycle stall, and a motor garage (entered by a sloping way from the courtyard). The whole of the ground and first floor offices on the Johnston Street frontage are to be used by the headquarters staff, with apartments for the superintendent and inspector of the Wellington district, whilst the local station officers will be • accommodated on the first floor on the Waring Taylor Street side of the building. There is provided a commodious charge-room and public office, offices for the senior sergeant in charge, tho chief detective, three apartments for the detective staff, a large uniform room with wardrobes for each man on the station books. On the first floor is a suite of rooms for the matrons (sitting-room, two bedrooms, and a kitchen), an office for sectional sergeants, a sitting-room for unmarried sergeants, a reading and writing rcom, and a billiard room (43ft. by 25ft.). Practically the whole of the second and third floors on both frontages are subdivided into cubicles for the pccommodation of constables. • The diningroom is locatedonthe second floor front in Waring Taylor Street. On the second floor, too, is provision for a fine gymnasium (43ft. by 25ft.), situated directly over the billiard-room, with a ceiling 22ft. in height. The central building known as the cell block contains 26 cells for men and 16 for women, and the cells will be constructed on hygienic principles. The new building will be lighted throughout with electricity, and heated with hot water radiators. All floors are of reinforced concrete, the walls are hard-plastered throughout (including the basement and cells), and the roof is of steel construction with asbestos tiles. The stairways, too, pre of reinforced concrete, so that the building will be as nearly fireproof as possible.

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Bibliographic details

NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR THE POLICE, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2430, 8 April 1915

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NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR THE POLICE Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2430, 8 April 1915

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