Saturday, August 15, 2009
The charming Challenger House is located in the New Zealand capital of Wellington at 136 The Terrace. Dwarfed by its neigbours, most at least thirty years younger, Edmund Ancombe's fine 1938 art deco apartment block has survived because of its quality. It was originally known as Lintas House and Franconia. Edmund Ancombe designed many Art Deco buildings in Wellington including the Post and Telegraph building in Herd Street.
During the 1990's the Challenger House was known as Invincible House and was the scene of a brutal double murder known as the Thomas Murders. On 16 February, 1994, the then owners of the building, father and son financial dealers Eugene and Gene Thomas, were found shot to death in their offices in the building. After three notorious trials John Barlow, the primary suspect, was finally convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment in October 1995.
The building was renamed Challenger House to cover its former history. The building was renamed MCC People House for a brief period after its primary lessee however their lease expired in 2011.
It will be interesting to see what new name will be attached to this colourful building be in the future.
As MCC People House
- Wikipedia - Edmund Anscombe
- New Zealand attractions
- The Thomas Murders
More Art Deco information can be found on the DecoWorks Pty Ltd website.