Older villas in the south of the suburb
Location of Grey Lynn in Auckland
|Local authority||Auckland City|
|Southeast||Arch Hill, Kingsland|
Grey Lynn is an inner residential suburb of Auckland City, New Zealand, located three kilometres to the west of the city centre. Originally a separate borough, Grey Lynn amalgamated with Auckland City in 1914.
Grey Lynn is centred around Grey Lynn Park, which was not part of the original subdivision of 1883, since the land was too steep and too wet for house construction. In 1914 the land was drained and levelled for playing fields. The park is home to the annual Grey Lynn Park Festival, which attracts around 100,000 visitors on the third Saturday in November.
The character of the area is often seen as "arty", and one of being a "traditional home to free-thinkers and anti-establishment types".
Grey Lynn is named for Sir George Grey (14 April 1812 – 19 September 1898), Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony (South Africa), Premier of New Zealand, and, towards the end of his life, Member Of Parliament for Auckland West.
The original subdivision was 900 acres (3.6 km2), which is still the formal extent of Grey Lynn. Most of the houses were built between the 1880s and the beginning of the First World War. Very few of the houses have been completely replaced by new structures.
Williamson Avenue and Crummer Road are two of the major streets in Grey Lynn. James Williamson and Thomas Crummer were joint owners of a farm in the area. In 1883 Williamson and Crummer sold the property to the Auckland Agricultural Company. The Surrey Hills farm was subdivided into 272 building sections to form the neighbourhood between Surrey Crescent and the southern end of Ponsonby Road. Shops are located at the intersection of Great North Road and Williamson Avenue.
The inner city of Auckland became rundown starting in the 1950s, and the low rents in places like Grey Lynn and Ponsonby attracted students and immigrant workers from the Pacific Islands. Grey Lynn developed a Polynesian flavour. Although in recent years this has greatly diminished, there are still a large number of Tongan and Samoan churches in the area.
Many of the homes in Grey Lynn were renovated beginning in the 1990s and housing prices increased. Lower-end retail enterprises have gradually been replaced with major corporate projects while the area experienced a level of gentrification. The influx of middle-class people has resulted in a reduction of student flats and the slow but steady displacement of Polynesian families. A number of recent housing developments in the suburb have attracted controversy due to their contribution to an increase in population density.
In April 2013 the residents formed Grey Lynn Residents Association in reaction to the Auckland City Council's plan to rezone Grey Lynn and increase population density.
The Grey Lynn Park Festival is held in early summer in Grey Lynn Park. The event celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009. The event is the last independent community event in the city. It is organised by four dedicated people who raise money from stall fees and charitable grants and give a lot of their time. It attracts thousands of visitors. It started as a local community get-together with working-class and Pasifika roots, though the appeal has broadened through the decades. The 2012 event was cancelled due to forecasts of rain.
Education and sports
Secondary schools serving the area include Auckland Girls Grammar School, Mount Albert Grammar School, and Western Springs College. Catholic students attend St Paul's College (boys) or St Mary's College (girls).
Grey Lynn Park is the home ground of the Richmond Rovers rugby league club.
The suburb is served by public transport. It lies within walking distance of the central business district via Ponsonby. Buses run down Great North Road, Richmond Road, Surrey Crescent and Williamson Avenue.
The former Borough Council Chambers and Fire Station building stands at the Ponsonby Road end of Williamson Avenue. This brick building dating from 1889, was designed by John Mitchell. It resembles many American fire stations of the period.
At the corner of Crummer Road and Ponsonby Road stands the large 1890s Italianate Mansion of George Allen, a saddle and harness maker. "Allendale" is a local landmark, having been successively a doctor's surgery, Maori girls hostel, boarding house, refuge for alcoholic men, and a restaurant. In the 1990s it was purchased by the ASB Community Trust as its headquarters and was restored.
Carlile House stands at 84 Richmond Road. Built in 1886 as an industrial school named the Costley Training Institute, it is now abandoned and vandalised. The original stables are still visible on the Chamberlain Street side.
- The population given here is the sum of the populations for three census areas: Quickstats about Grey Lynn East, Quickstats about Grey Lynn West and Quickstats about Surrey Crescent
- GLPF - greylynnparkfestival.org
- "Grey Lynn — an exclusive extract". The New Zealand Herald. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Morris, Bruce (11 September 2010). "Gentrified Auckland suburb's time to shine". The New Zealand Herald.
- Rein, Jocelyn (27 November 2009). "Grey Lynn festival turns 25". Auckland City Harbour News. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Osmond, Bernard (28 November 2005). "Wet fields stop Grey Lynn party". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Grey Lynn festival celebrates 25 years". One News. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Weather cancels Auckland's Grey Lynn Festival". 3 News NZ. 16 November 2012.
- The Heart of Colonial Auckland, 1865–1910. Terence Hodgson. Random Century NZ Ltd 1992.
- Colonial Architecture In New Zealand. John Stacpoole. A.H & A.W Reed 1976
- Decently And In Order, The Centennial History of the Auckland City Council. G.W.A Bush. Collins 1971.
- Auckland Through A Victorian Lens. William Main. Millwood Press 1977.
- Ponsonby Heritage Walks. Tania Mace. Ponsonby Road Productions 2005.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grey Lynn Park Festival.|
- Grey Lynn Online (business association website)
- Grey Lynn Park Festival
- Grey Lynn Residents Association website