The new look of Wakelin’s Flourmill in Carterton. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER
The new face of one of Carterton’s most historic buildings was revealed on Monday as the scaffolding was pulled down from Wakelin’s Flourmill.
Pedestrians stopped to take photos and motorists slowed to get a better look at a building which had been long overdue for a revamp.
The biggest surprise was the emergence of the original mill name, painted at the top of the building along with the date the mill was transferred to High St.
Among those taking photos was Lorraine Cameron, who was “thrilled” the building had been restored.
“It’s far nicer than I imagined — the owner has done a fantastic job.
“It’s just what Carterton needs.”
Now retired, Mrs Cameron has lived in Carterton since she was born and previously owned a bed and breakfast on Philip St.
She recalled her sister going on a school trip through the mill when it was operating.
“I’ve looked at the building as we’ve walked past and thought it looked like it was falling down – I dreaded the thought of it being pulled to bits,” Mrs Cameron said.
Carterton Mayor John Booth was also impressed with the building’s new look.
“The vertical strips at the southern end are a different colour which sets it off really nicely” he said.
“It’s gone from looking rather dilapidated to looking really smart – it’s lovely to see the old timber restored.”
The mill was constructed in 1865 by Thomas Bennett, who also built Carterton Town Hall, the town’s first court house, and St Mark’s Anglican Church.
The building was in danger of being demolished in 1996 until protests from the community resulted in its heritage values being recognised.
It is classified as a Category One historic building by Heritage New Zealand.
Its new owner, Siobhan Jephson, will be using the building for residential purposes, although the interior is yet to be restored.
Mrs Cameron wished it had been turned into a museum but was glad the new owner had turned the rundown building into something “beautiful”.