History of the “Auckland Garage”

By February 3, 2021 No Comments

The history of the "Auckland Garage" site began with a tragedy.

Key dates in history.


In 1872, Australian born mining manager James William Cazaly committed suicide in Auckland, New Zealand, after suffering heavy financial losses from over-speculation. His wife Clarissa moved back to Manly with her three daughters in 1873 and built a substantial residence named “Auckland Villa” on the corner of West Promenade and Gilbert Street.


While “Auckland Villa” was the first house constructed at the site, other residences were later built nearby. Most of these, including “Auckland Villa” were destroyed by a fire or demolished during the early 1930’s. By then, Robert and Walter Sellar had bought the “Auckland Villa” site and leased the vacant site to Stanley Gillingham, a local taxicab proprietor, from February 1933.


“Auckland Garage” was constructed in 1933 to the design by well-known architects Trenchard Smith and Maisey. The drive-in service station and garage contained a repair shop, parking space for 50 cars and an office. Gillingham purchased the site in 1938 and owned it until 1951, co-managing the garage with his daughter Joyce Stewart and her husband Ron, a mechanic.


From 1952 until 1978, the garage with owned by Shell Australia, before it became part of the Manly Civic Club from 1978. The former “Auckland Garage” was later sublet for various uses, including as a dry cleaner, Globe surf wear store, and an art gallery.


It was restored and refurbished in 2020 as part of the Wharfside Residences development by the Manly Civic Club.