Topic: 190 Smart Road (1894)

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190 Smart Road

This attractive villa was constructed for New Plymouth land agent and chairman of The Taranaki County Council, Walter Bewley, in 1894. 

Marian Susan Bewley, Walter's wife, purchased part of Fitzroy Suburban Section 185 in February 1894. Later, in May 1894, tenders for the construction of a residence and associated outbuildings for Walter Bewley, on Smart Road, were called for by New Plymouth architect Olave Deacon.

Dixon and Technitz were the builders for the both the house and outbuildings, with their tender of £97 10s (labour only) accepted for construction of the house, and their tender of £80 (material and labour) accepted for the construction of outbuildings; it was reported that the entire project cost around £400 to complete.

The Bewley's didn't stay in the house for long, and the property was sold to Mrs Tuke in December 1897. In 1901, the Tuke's daughter, Olive, died at the property aged 27. Mrs Tuke advertised the property for sale or lease in 1902, and appears to have been leased for several years before being purchased by a member of the Street family in 1908. 

Whilst owned by the Street family it seems the property was known as 'Oaklands'.

The home is notable for it's association with prominent New Plymouth citizen Walter Bewley, and also with the Street family - a well known settler family with strong ties to the area. That the building was designed by Olave Deacon is also significant, as Deacon designed many fine New Plymouth buildings, however very few have survived, and 190 Smart Road is a rare surviving example of his work. 

See Taranaki Land Deeds Index I14, page 879

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