Historical information

Prue Sanderson, in her groundbreaking ‘City of Kew Urban Conservation Study : Volume 2 - Development History’ (1988), summarised the periods of urban development and subdivisions of land in Kew. The periods that she identified included 1845-1880, 1880-1893, 1893-1921, 1921-1933, 1933-1943, and Post-War Development. These periods were selected as they represented periods of rapid growth or decline in urban development. An obvious starting point for Sanderson’s groupings involved population growth and the associated economic cycles. These cycles also highlighted urban expansion onto land that was predominantly rural, although in other cases it represented the decline and breakup of large estates. A number of the plans in the Kew Historical Society’s collection can also be found in other collections, such as those of the State Library of Victoria and the Boroondara Library Service. A number are however unique to the collection.


Subdivision plans are historically important documents used as evidence of the growth of suburbs in Australia. They frequently provide information about when the land was sold on which a built structure was subsequently constructed as well as evidence relating to surveyors and real estate and financial agents. The numerous subdivision plans in the Kew Historical Society's collection represent working documents, ranging from the initial sketches made in planning a subdivision to printed plans on which auctioneers or agents listed the prices for which individual lots were sold. In a number of cases, the reverse of a subdivision plan in the collection includes a photograph of a house that was also for sale by the agent. These photographs provide significant heritage information relating house design and decoration, fencing and household gardens.

Physical description

In 1928, five residential allotments bordering Segtoune and Windsor Streets were advertised for sale as part of a subdivision. Four of the blocks faced Segtoune Avenue. The auctioneers proclaimed the advantages of the sites: ‘Situate one minute from the High Street Electric Tram, which now runs direct to Spencer Street via Bridge Road and Flinders Street. Opposite the East Kew Railway Station (Outer Circle Line), which may be reopened In connection with the new Line from Kew to Doncaster; Adjacent lo the Kew Recreation Reserve, Sports Oval, and Swimming Bath; Half Minute from the Shopping Centre of East Kew, Accessible to the State School and Other Educational Centres’. The Harp of Erin Hotel and the route of the Outer Circle Railway line are marked on the plan. The Recreation Reserve and Sport Oval refer to Victoria Park. The Swimming Baths were located on the site of the current Kew Recreation Centre.