The striking Italianate-style villa that you see before you was originally built in 1905 for the artist and sculptor Michael Coughlan Dignan. Though its grand design might suggest otherwise, it was designed as a large family home on what was, at the time, farmland. The prominent features of the house, including the front façade, upper balcony and entrance portico, remain in their original condition today.
While the architect is unconfirmed, the style and detailing of the home has similarities to the nearby Pah Homestead, designed by Thomas Mahoney and built in 1877, where Dignan’s immediate family lived in the 1890s. Dignan’s family was a well-known Catholic family in Auckland during this period.
The home at 1 Warren Avenue was one of a group of buildings associated with the early development at Three Kings in the early 1900s. Originally known as Ranfurly Terrace, Warren Avenue later took the name of a former town clerk, J.Y. Warren.