A map of Auckland likely from the early 1940’s (based on the level of development in places like Glen Innes and Mt Roskill). One thing that you can notice is how closely the majority of street network is to the old tram routes (in yellow)

Auckland Map 1940s

What is also interesting is the level of intensity of streets with what is now the Central Motorway Junction. On this map at least it looks like the densest cluster of streets outside of the core of the CBD

Auckland Map 1940s CMJ

And here’s what that little cluster looked like from the sky in 1940

Auckland Map 1940s CMJ actual

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25 comments

  1. At a guess the motorways took out less than a third of the houses in the aerial. A few are still there but most were knocked over as the land became commercial.

    1. Wrong, more like 50-60%.

      Aerial photos taken of this area after the designation but *before* any motorway constuction happened here shows that the entire centre block from K’Rd south to Newton Road and Eastwards to Grafton Road was almost entirely parking lots and derelict houses by the early 1960’s.
      There was also a lot more houses lost on the western side of K’Rd down towards Victoria Park, which is out of shot in this photo.

      As you yourself have said that they could and did designated half a mile either side of a centre line for motorways, and thats pretty much what they did here.

      The commercial stuff happened mostly around the fringes of what was left untouched after the designation and motorway building had happened, which took decades from designation to completion.

      1. Greg I don’t think it was the centreline issue here. They knew fairly early where the CMJ ramps would go because there wasn’t many options. I think it was a desire to knock over old houses as the area was perceived as a slum that even poor people shouldn’t have to live in. It was part of the ‘modernisation’ of Auckland.

  2. Relevant to the discussion on the Glen Innes cycleway, it shows Purewa station, predating Meadowbank.

    1. Well I think 1946 or so – there were no plans for development in the Tamaki district until the state housing plans were announced early 1945.
      So the fact that there are roads shown around GI/Panmure indicates to me its about 1946/7 when this map was made.

      But it also shows no south eastern outlet (old Eastern Motorway) over Hobson Bay – either which was also being actively pushed about this time.
      [But which lost out to the current Southern motorway alignment subsequently]

      But its no later than that, as the State house construction at the end of Meadowbank road (near where the station is now) doesn’t show, and that had roads built was the houses were built out in the late 1940s – 1948/49 and they’re all missing here.

    2. If it was 30’s earliest possible it could be is 1936 as that was when trams extended to Avondale but there are roads on that map in both GI/Mt Wellington and around Mt Roskill that don’t exist on the councils historic aerial imagery from 1940 so I think has to be 40’s.

    1. If it was pre 1930 it would have Auckland station at Britomart and no Westfield deviation. So it must be 1930 or later, but before Meadowbank replaced Purewa, in 1947 I think.

  3. Trams down Victoria Ave Remuera, did not know that, too much!

    And the old Purewa RR station was literally in the middle of nowhere.

      1. There was the Kingsland tram disaster at Xmas 1903 when a tram ran back down the hill from Newton and 3 people were killed.

    1. What a great shot! Lovely composition. And what a great compact little town; getting ready to violently rip itself apart in order to grow. There are so many leasons from what happened next to this picture.

      Also I love those horribly inefficient freighters in the harbour; so Tintin. So much back breaking work down on those docks. Stuff was hard to shift.

      1. Here’s a great little video that makes you appreciate containerised shipping. It just shows what can be achieved with global standards.

      2. Yes – it was hard work – but it was good work and quite well paid even after the 1951 lockout. There was a demand for jobs on the wharves, and when I was a student in the late 60’s, a few of my friends had “Seagull’s” tickets which enabled them to get casual work there and they were very much valued. After ’51 a lot of the wharfies who used to live in Freemans Bay were moved out to Glen Innes to new state houses there. This was under the guise of “slum clearance” – the same as the Newton Gully.

  4. Would be a great exercise to overlay the current Motorway network on this – will help show where inner-city housing land has actually gone 😉

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