McKay Housing Estates

Ridley St 4 Albion - House Under Redevel
Ridley St 4 Albion - House Under Redevel

H.V. McKay had a vision where Sunshine was going to the "Birmingham of Australia"  and that his employees and their families were to work and live in the area.

 

As he owned vast about of acres in the Braybrook Junction / Sunshine areas he subdivided some of this land into housing lots. While individuals and families made their own decisions of where to live, the H.V. McKay Company did try to put pressure on them to buy, build and live in the area.

In 1922, H.V. McKay requested the Council to take over the streets constructed by him except for Talmage St & Adelaide St.

Some of estates that he developed include:

 

Soldier Settlement

The estate was built in the early 1920's and became Albion, a new suburb of Sunshine. Sixty-four houses were built, five different designs, all weatherboard and of simple construction. Two small reserves were built at the rear of houses.

 

Hampshire Rd, south of the Sunshine State School

 

The estate was built in 1924 and was designed on the "Garden City" principles. The estate consisted of 24-26 houses of which were of concrete outer walls. A central reserve was provided in the middle of Leith Ave.

Hampshire Rd, south of Ballarat Rd

 

The estate was built in 1924 and was designed on the "Garden City" principles. The estate consisted of 20 houses made from timber with tiled roofs. A reserve was provided in the front of the houses that separated the housed from the main street Hampshire Rd.

 

H. V. McKay's Sunshine Estate

 

The largest estate to built to date was in 1924 - 25. The estate consisted of 220 house lots with an octagon shaped park of ten acres.

 

During the 1970's saw the start of the demolishment of the houses and being replaced with two story flats. These high density redevelopments unfortunately changed the character of the McKay Housing Estate forever.

Today you can find some of the original houses that have been wonderfully restored, others that have the potential to be restored but others are far too gone.

 

Unfortunately even in 2021 some of these houses are still being demolished and replaced with units.

Ref: Harvester Town, The making of Sunshine 1890 - 1925, Olwen Ford

Ref: When The Whistle Blew, A Social History of The Town of Sunshine 1920 - 1950, Prue McGoldrick

Photos: S&DHS