Casa Nova House – A return to luxury

Casa Nova House was built in 1861 for gentleman farmer Mark Noble. Designed by Thomas Glass and built by Michael Grenfell, it was Oamaru’s first grand residence. The two-storey limestone residence was home to some of the district’s most prominent families.

In the 1960s, Casa Nova was brought back from the brink of demolition by Christine and Dave Graham who converted into a function venue. In the 1980s it was popular restaurant. In later years the condition of the house has deteriorated.

Current owners Brenda Laverick and Katrina McLarin bought the house in 2019. Arriving in the middle of a cold Oamaru winter, they set about planning the restoration of Casa Nova. 

Early on, they contacted the Council’s heritage advisor who supported them to put in an application to the Waitaki Heritage Fund. The fund committee awarded them $20,000 towards the project. Window joinery has been repaired and replaced, vegetation cleared, the rear timber addition repaired and reclad, the guttering and spouting replaced, and the interior refurbished.

In 2021, Brenda and Katrina opened Restaurant 1861 and welcomed guests to their boutique bed and breakfast:

The Waitaki Heritage Fund was proud to support this project.