Early concept shows the Auckland that might have been

Early concept shows the Auckland that might have been
Photo credit: Sir George Grey special collection, Auckland Library, NZ Map 2664

The first plan for Auckland offers a fascinating look at how our largest city was originally envisioned.

The concept was designed by Felton Mathew, the Surveyor General under Governor William Hobson in 1841. The most ambitious of the abandoned ideas from this early concept was "Trafalgar Circus", a huge central circular intersection of streets inspired by Mr Matthew's hometown of Bath in the UK. The circus was planned to sit where Albert Park is today.  

The crescent shape design for many of the streets was to suit Auckland's uneven and volcanic terrain.

The circus was to connect to two large squares - Hobson and Wellington - via Victoria St. The squares were also abandoned.

Early concept shows the Auckland that might have been
Photo credit: Sir George Grey special collection, Auckland Library, NZ Map 2664

The "Scale of Chains" along the top of the map uses a now archaic form of measurement, with one 'chain' measuring 20 metres. 

The plans were changed to our more recognisable grid mostly to save costs and to make it easier to subdivide as we grew.

Despite being more than 150 years old, the broad strokes of the map remain familiar, with many of the modern streets such as Albert, Victoria and Wyndham still in use. 

Newshub.