The Centennial memorial and lookout
The Centennial lookout was designed by Gray Young, Morton & Young in 1939
In 1939, plans were made to build a lookout and memorial on the top of Mt Victoria, as part of the city’s centennial memorials and celebrations works for the 1940 NZ Centennial. It included a bronze orientation table, bronze heads of Wellington and Wakefield. The stone and concrete lookout was constructed by Fletcher Construction. It was officially opened on March 15, 1940.
The commemorative plaque records that it was: “Erected as a Centennial Memorial, September 1939. Commemorates the founding of the city by settlers organised by the New Zealand Company. The first actors in the drama arrived in Wellington Harbour in the “Tory” from England on September 20th 1839. Edward Gibbon Wakefield was the moving spirit behind the organisation. The City took the name of Wellington from the Great Duke who assisted the passage of Wakefield’s colonizing legislation through the English Parliament. The granite wall of the Look-Out is the gift of the London County Council and formed part of the Waterloo Bridge, London, which was opened by the Duke of Wellington in 1817 and demolished 1938.”
Depression employment projects
During the Depression of late 1920’s and 30’s, relief workers were given a considerable amount of work around Mt Victoria. Workers were paid 12 shillings a day.
Pirie Street Reserve was created by unemployed workers under the Mayor’s Employment Fund in 1927.
In 1928, after gorse grubbing, 100,000 trees were planted on the Town Belt, including Mt Victoria.