National War Memorial Hall of Memories

At the base of the National War Memorial, Carillon tower is the Hall of Memories, which serves as the commemorative chapel of the National War Memorial.

Original plans

The original 1929 plans for the National War Memorial, designed by architectural firm Gummer and Ford, included both the Hall of Memories and the carillon tower. However, after the carillon was built, construction of the Hall of Memories was put on hold because of the economic depression of the 1930s, and then because of the Second World War.

New design

In 1955 the government hired Gummer and Ford to redesign a ‘simple but dignified’ building as a memorial for New Zealand’s war dead. This was seen as increasingly important following the Second World War and the Korean War.

Construction and opening

The Hall of Memories was constructed by builders P. Graham & Sons (who also built the carillon) for a total £113,800. Following several construction setbacks, it was finally unveiled by Governor-General Sir Bernard Fergusson and Prime Minister Keith Holyoake on 5 April 1964.

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