Auckland 1940s Street Map

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

25 comments to Auckland 1940s Street Map

  • Matt

    Is there anything any higher in resolution?

  • mfwic

    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.

    • Greg Nikoloff

      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.

      • mfwic

        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.

  • Mike (the longstanding one)

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

  • Since it guesses the Eastern Line alignment (whereas the rest of the map is accurate), I would say pre-1930, as that is when the Eastern Line opened.

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      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.

  • For history nerds, note the publisher Whitcombe and Tombs, who later merged with Coull Somerville Wilke to becomes Whitcoulls.

  • Waspman

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

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

  • Jonty

    Kind of related, here’s an aerial photo above Queen’s Wharf, looking up Queen St in 1949

    • 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.

      • James B

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

      • Lindsey

        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.

  • Roland Sapsford

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

  • Simon

    the map doesn’t show Cornwall Hospital although Auckland Hospital is marked indicating it predates 1942.

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