ArchitectureA Vogel-period gable station, Carterton is a simple, rectangular, timber-framed and clad building. There are gables at both ends of the building and a verandah on the platform elevation. The roof has three brick chimneys on the corrugated-iron roof and there is a slender portico over the street entrance. On both main elevations there are four-paned double-hung sash windows and an arrangement of panelled doors. The interior has a number of small rooms containing original features such as fireplaces and joinery.
HistoryConstruction of the Wellington-Woodville line took much of the 1870s and early 1880s, and it opened as far as Carterton in late 1880 - the station building had been completed at a cost of £522 in March 1879, when the railway had reached Featherston. The building was augmented with a verandah in 1899 and the portico on the road elevation was added in 1924. The station building continued in the same role for over 100 years, but with its use discontinued by the railway (apart from the platform) it has been leased by the Carterton District Council, and subsequently subleased to the restoration society, for restoration as part of an historic railway precinct.
Architectural SignificanceCarterton has considerable architectural importance as one of the finest extant examples of a Vogel-period gable station. It has retained most of its original form and character, both within and without. The interior in particular has been unusually well preserved.
Historical SignificanceCarterton is the only large wooden station building left in the Wairarapa. It was, like so many other stations in small centres, pivotal in the social and economic life of the town. The rural-based economy required the efficient cartage of its bulky produce. The station, which now handles only passenger traffic, is the third-oldest station remaining.
Town / Landscape ValueCarterton sits largely on its own, as it has since it was built, in a residential/light industrial area.