Friday, 10 October 2014

Point Chevalier's Liverpool Estate

A few months back we took a look at the Victory Estate in Mt Roskill, an area named in commemoration of First World War military men. A few years earlier, just across the way in Point Chevalier, there was an equally interesting parcel of lots known as the Liverpool Estate. This piece of land is bordered at one end by Great North and Point Chevalier Roads. Besides housing, it now contains a supermarket, assorted shops and the Point Chevalier Community Library.

Ref: A map of allotments for sale in Point Chevalier, about 1915,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 1298
The estate was created in 1913 by a group known as the Liverpool Estate Syndicate and was marketed as a “last opportunity” to acquire main road frontage close to the city. It was only a fifteen minute walk to the Arch Hill terminus and a significant selling point was that a motorbus passed by. The Point Chevalier Motor Bus Company ran from 1915-1920 and was owned by prominent locals, including a member of the Dignan family. Following the First World War with the rising price of oil, it went in to voluntary liquidation. Estate land was also connected to sewerage and drainage, gas and water were available on the boundary and a school was nearby. Another factor was that it was not far from the “beautiful Point Chevalier beach.” 

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, On the beach at Point Chevalier, 30 January 1919,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19190130-32-1 
Several of the streets in the Liverpool Estate were named after New Zealand birds – Moa, Huia and Kiwi Roads and Tui Street - and according to the book Rangi-Mata-Rau: Pt Chevalier Centennial1861-1961, it was a bird-loving (although un-named) member of the Dignan family who got the honour of naming them. Further down, closer to the beach, but not part of the Liverpool Estate there is of course, a Dignan Street.

Ref:  A close up from a map of allotments for sale in Point Chevalier, about 1915,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 1298

Point Chev, it seemed, was not a bad place to buy a piece of land and build a house, in spite of the war raging across the other side of the world. As the writer of a piece in the 14 August 1915 issue of NZ Truth said: “The fact is that the Point Chevalier district, which in times gone by used to belong to dear old Paddy Dignan one of the best of the old-time publicans, and the biggest shareholder of the Bank of New Zealand before the crash in 1890, has developed into an important suburb in spite of everything. The western winds may sweep over the place and make it feel cold, for Auckland, but nevertheless, it is a fine old spot, and has its own attractions.”

Ref: Hanna and Richardson, 1/4 length portrait of Mr Patrick Dignan, 1890s,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-JDR11 
Author: Joanne Graves, Central Auckland Research Centre

1 comment:

  1. My wife's great grandfather Willhelm Paganini Hoffmann is mentioned in the book Rangi-Mata-Rau. He owned a "beach house" at the end of Smale St, motorway would cover this area now. At one time he owned the eastern half of Waterview.

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