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Government BuildingsThis historic home is believed to have been built around 1873. It was designed and built by the Government Architect of the time, Sir William Clayton (1823 - 1877), who was also responsible for the design of many of New Zealand's public buildings, including his most famous, Wellington's Government Buildings

Sir William Clayton's daughter, Mary, married Julius Vogel in 1867. Vogel later became a distinguished Premier of New Zealand, from April 1873 until July 1875. The house is said to have been a gift from Sir William to the young couple.

Finnimore HouseThe house occupies a commanding site above Newtown and was the original homestead for the surrounding area. Vogeltown, the suburb in which the house is situated, honours Sir Julius Vogel, and many of the neighbouring properties are subdivisions from the original estate.

The facade of the house and much of the interior is original. Over a period of fifteen years, from 1985, the house was extensively and lovingly restored, with particular attention being paid to the architectural style of the Victorian era.

During the final stages of redevelopment, at the time when the double garage and sweeping driveway were constructed, artefacts from Vogel's era were unearthed, indicating that the site of the garage was where the original stables were situated.

In the year 2000, Julius Vogel once again commanded public attention because of his unusual and prophetic work of fiction, published in 1889, titled "Anno Domini 2000, or Woman's Destiny". This fascinating book prophesied women presidents, prime ministers and leaders of the opposition. Among other things in his Utopian novel, Vogel foresaw global air travel and "noiseless telegraph", long before the first successful flight took place, or before computers were ever dreamed of.

As Premier of New Zealand, Sir Julius Vogel was responsible for programmes of assisted immigration to New Zealand, international trade, and reconciliation with Maori. He was a liberal thinker and a champion for the rights of women. In 1887 he introduced the first Women's Suffrage Bill before Parliament. Julius Vogel was knighted in 1875 for his services to New Zealand.

Finnimore House takes its name from the street onto which it faces, Finnimore Terrace. It has been occupied by your hosts, Willie and Kathleen Ryan, since July 1999, and we are proud to reside in a house with such a colourful history.