Whanganui Public Museum

Whanganui Public Museum

Building Details

Name of Building: Whanganui Public Museum
Location: 55-65 Drews Avenue. Queens Park. Whanganui
Year Built: 1893
Date Plaque Unveiled: 2 December 2023
Current Owners: Whanganui Musicians Club
Contact Details:  Click here to email
Plaque Sponsor: Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust

Plaque Text

Designed by Alfred Atkins and built in 1893 as Whanganui’s first Public Museum, to house the collection of Samuel Drew. From 1931 to 2016 the home of the Whanganui branch of the Savage Club, an international group of gentleman’s clubs.

Brief Historical Information:

Samuel Drew was a well-known watchmaker and jeweller in Whanganui with a keen interest in natural history and geology. He established a museum in his family home until the collection outgrew the space available.  The current building was designed by Alfred Atkins to serve as the Wanganui Public Museum and the eastern hall was constructed in 1893. By 1899 the western hall was added and acted as a lecture hall and for concerts.

Eventually the collection outgrew the building and the collection was moved to the purpose built Whanganui Regional Museum and the Savage Club took over lease of the site from Council. Little has changed since, with minor additions and restoration.

Restoration and Current Owner Story

The Whanganui Musicians Club took over ownership and lead occupancy of the site in the early 2020’s and are keen to ensure its preservation. A Conservation Plan has been completed and restoration will proceed as fundraising allows.

Related Links

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to see a larger copy

1948 Savage Club Conference

Exterior shot from the 1890's

Interior shot from the 1890's

2021 - Interior Shot

2021 - Exterior Shot