Original survey plan, issued by the MMBW to a contractor with responsibility for constructing sewers in the area identified on the plan within the Borough of Kew. The plan was at some stage hand-coloured, possibly by the contractor, but more likely by officers working in the Engineering Department of the Borough and later Town, then City of Kew. The hand-coloured sections of buildings on the plan were used to denote masonry or brick constructions (pink), weatherboard constructions (yellow), and public buildings (grey).
That area of Kew bordered by Cotham Road, Park Hill Road, Ermington Lane (now Ermington Place), and Belmont Avenue contained some of the significant homes owned by Kew pioneers. Chief among these was ‘Park Hill’ on an enormous lot facing Park Hill Road. The Jubilee History of 1910 noted, six years after this plan was drawn, that: ‘Park Hill Road, forming the southern boundary of the cemetery, takes its name from Park Hill, the residence of Mr. Thomas Judd, who has resided there since December, 1852.’ Other named houses on the plan include ‘Ferndale’ facing Cotham Road; ‘Ermington’ adjacent to Judd’s Park Hill, facing Park Hill Road; and ‘Gilden’ and ‘Mont Belmont’ facing Belmont Avenue. Mont Belmont was designed by the architectural firm of Reed, Henderson and Smart for William George Lilley in 1887 and was completed in 1888. Lilley was Mayor of Kew in 1887-88, a Justice of the Peace and a member of the first Board of Guardians of Kew’s St. Hilary’s Church of England.
The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) plans were produced from the 1890s to the 1950s. They were crucial to the design and development of Melbourne's sewerage and drainage system. The plans, at a scale of 40 feet to 1 inch (1:480), provide a detailed historical record of Melbourne streetscapes and environmental features. Each plan covers one or two street blocks (roughly six streets), showing details of buildings, including garden layouts and ownership boundaries, and features such as laneways, drains, bridges, parks, municipal boundaries and other prominent landmarks as they existed at the time each plan was produced. (Source: State Library of Victoria)
The thirty-five original contractors' plans in the collection of the Kew Historical Society are of statewide significance in that they provide highly detailed advice about the construction materials used in buildings in Kew in the first decade of the 20th century as well as additional information about land ownership and usage. The copies in the Public Record Office Victoria and the State Library of Victoria are monochrome versions which do not denote building materials so that the maps in this collection are invaluable and unique tools for reserachers and heritage consultants. As such they are of historical significance. Their provenace is identified by the handdrawn annotations of contractors and engineers as well as that they once formed part of the collection held by the Kew City Council. Some of the plans are not held in the State Library's collection.