Walks of absent memory : MESH Cities, Dunedin

Welcome to Walks of absent memory, a project designed for ADA Mesh Cities. This project is by Tracey Benson and explores past and present Dunedin.

The work is a literal walk around a central area of Dunedin, where participants can discover some ghostly relics of buildings. This is achieved by downloading and using an app for Internet enabled hand-held devices (smartphones and tablets) in conjunction with this blog and printed guide to the walk. The accompanying guide is designed to assist the audience (tourist) to explore the city through the eyes of an absent stranger – to recreate a fictional memory lost in time.

Print version of the guide.

You don’t have to be Dunedin to experience this work. You can also use the app with the landmark building images in this blog post and in the print version of the guide.

Map with markers of sites

Map with markers of sites

Note: Above map is not interactive – see Google Map at the end of this post.

Technical specifications

Walks of absent memory uses augmented reality, and to view it you must have an internet enabled mobile device running iOS
or Android (tablet or smartphone). You must also have the “Aurasma” app installed.
To install Aurasma:

  • Search for and download the “Aurasma” app in Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Launch the app, click on the “A” symbol at the bottom of the screen, then click on the
magnifying glass icon.
  • In the search box, type in “bytetime” and click “Search”.
Select the channel titled “bytetime” then click “Follow” to follow the channel.

Now you are ready to view the work. When you are in front of one of the building landmarks
documented in the ‘Walk of absent memories’ map or blog, click the target icon (bottom centre of the screen) and hold your device in front of the frame to watch it animate. Any time you want to view the work in future, simply launch Aurasma, and it will be ready to go.

Note: make sure you are connected to the Internet before 
holding your device up to the building ‘clue’ from this blog.

Here is your stop-by-stop guide to Walks of absent memory, have fun!

Start: 22 Vogel Street
Vogel Street is a meeting place for MESH cities and has many historic buildings.

Vogel Street

Vogel Street

Stop 1: 249 Cumberland Street
May’s confectionery works
Built: 1900
Architect: [?] George William Gough (c.1865-1936)
Builder: Not known


Stop 2: 99-101 Stuart Street
Roberts Building
Built: 1903-1904
Architects: John Arthur Burnside (1857-1920)
Builders: McKinnon & Hamilton


Stop 3: 145-155 Stuart Street
Batchelor’s Building
Built: 1902-1903
Architect: James Louis Salmond (Lawson & Salmond)
Builders: Woods & Son


Stop 4: 67-69 Princes Street
Dresden Building (Capitol Building)
Built: 1912-1913
Architects: Salmond & Vanes
Builder: G. Lawrence & Sons


Stop 5: 141 Princes Street (Cr Princes and Dowling Streets)
Lost Dunedin #4: Gillies & Street Building
Built: 1864-1865
Architects: Mason & Clayton
Builders: Not identified
Demolished 1968

141 Princes Street

141 Princes Street

Stop 6: 152 Princes Street
Lost Dunedin #3: Oriental Hotel
Built: 1863
Architect: [?] William Henry Clayton (1823-1877)
Builder: Not identified
Demolished 1887


Stop 7: 18-20 Dowling Street
Hallenstein’s New Zealand Clothing Factory
Built: 1882-1883
Architect: David Ross (1828-1908)
Builders: Meikle & Campbell


Stop 8: 14-16 Dowling Street
Hallenstein Bros’ (leased out) warehouse
Built: 1884
Architect: James Hislop (1859-1904)
Builders: Anderson & Godso


Stop 9: Cnr High and Princes Streets


Stop 10: Mystery location on Princes Street
Clue:  Head back toward Stop 8

Can you find me?

Can you find me?


Google Map:

Acknowledgements: A big thanks to David Murray for the excellent research and images in his Built in Dunedin blog. Thanks to Google Street View, Google Maps and Aurasma for providing the tools to enable me to create this walk about the city of Dunedin, while in Canberra. Thank you to Vicki Smith and Shannon Novak for your feedback and UAT.

References to aura images:

  • Photo (detail): S.C. Smith. Alexander Turnbull Library. Ref: 1/2-046491-G.
  • Cyclopedia of New Zealand, vol. iv, Otago and Southland Provincial Districts (Christchurch: Cyclopedia Company, 1905), p.344 (includes historic image)
  • Hocken Collections (Hallenstein Brothers Limited, Head Office: Records) AG-295-036/003. Undated (c.1880s)
  • Advertisement from ‘Roslyn Review’, March 1910 (Hocken Collections S13-555b)
  • Toitū / Otago Settlers Museum 26-6-1.
  • D.L. Mundy, [1864]. Toitū / Otago Settlers Museum
  • Hocken Collections S12-627a