Port Stephens City 1st Subdivision - sales booklet and price list
InformationbobreidSunday, 1 January 2023 - 9:50pm
Over the past few months I have been researching the history of the North Arm Cove subdivision, and in particular the subdivision designs done by Henry Halloran.
The original design for North Arm Cove was done by Walter Burley Griffin in 1918 for a company called Land Ltd that had bought all of the North Arm Cove area in early 1918. Walter Burley Griffin's design was called Port Stephens City and it was approved by Stroud Council in mid 1918.
In June 1919 Land Ltd became insolvent and was wound up, and Henry Halloran took over the site.
Halloran was a land developer and speculator. He substantially changed Burley Griffin's design and in March 1920 he started offering blocks of land for sale in the 1st Subdivision of Port Stephens City. This subdivision covered the land to the south of Uralla and Gloucester Streets.
Halloran supported the sales campaign with a lithograph plan showing the subdivision. A high resolution copy of this plan can be downloaded from the National Library of Australia (NLA) website.
When I was downloading a copy of this plan from the NLA I noticed that the plan was listed as including an accompanying booklet - but a digital copy of the booklet was not on the NLA website. I was curious as to what this booklet was about, so I lodged an "ask a librarian" enquiry and was informed that it was a price list. I then paid $19 to the NLA for a scan of the booklet which was sent to me.
This booklet is really interesting as it contains a "sales pitch" for the subdivision, and the prices of every block for sale, and how the price was calculated. The prices ranged from 40 pounds for a block on Maitland Street to 540 pounds for a block on Baromee Way. I have attached a copy of the booklet to this post - it was too big for the website so I split it into two files, so you will need to download both of them.
The sales pitch included the following statements:
- Port Stephens City - predestined as the site of the great Maritime City which must, in the very early future, adorn the shores of Port Stephens
- Port Stephens City - without doubt, the Premier Position in the whole of great Port Stephens
- The agents have no hesitation in recommending a purchase in this grand Estate as one of the finest investments of the present day.
The last two pages of the booklet contained "weighty opinions of prominent men" and "extracts from the press etc" that extolled the benefits of Port Stephens.
In the end, Port Stephens City was just a giant speculative subdivision that ultimately collapsed, leaving us with the legacy of what we have today.