Street history: Strathmore's Broadway

Last updated 09:58 15/02/2013

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Residents of Broadway in Strathmore have Scottish-born Houston Francis Logan to thank for their street's rather exotic name.

Logan named Broadway, which these days links Wellington Airport to Seatoun Tunnel, after New York's main street.

After arriving in Wellington on the Bengal Merchant as a 2-year-old in 1840, Logan grew into a real man-about-town.

He helped found the Star Boating Club in 1866, and ran the Wellington Philosophical, Athenaeum and Astronomical societies.

Quite what Logan's fascination with New York was is unclear. And, in fact, he had little to do with the Wellington's eastern suburbs.

He was a city councillor and later an MP and ran businesses in Cuba St and Lambton Quay and lived in the city, then Brougham St, Mt Victoria.

Broadway, which is 1400 metres long, became a more significant street once Seatoun Tunnel opened in 1907.

There was an airport with a grass runway at Rongotai from 1929 till 1947, when it was closed for safety reasons. The current airport opened in 1959 and since then Broadway has become much more well-travelled.

Two of Broadway's major landmarks are Crawford Green, on its north side and, almost opposite, Scots College.

Crawford Green is a small sports field that was for decades a popular meeting place for all the youngsters in the suburb. The Crawford Green Champs, as they called themselves, would meet and play out their cricket, rugby, football and softball "test" matches.

Scots College, a Presbyterian boys-only private school, was founded in 1916.

There are two banks of shops in Broadway, with a restaurant, a popular cafe, and several other eateries sited there.

The street was notable for the state houses built there in its earlier days.

Broadway's name became better known when the Broadway Softball Club was formed 70 years ago. The club, and particularly the women's team, was consistently among the best in the country.

The Broadway Lawn Tennis Club also thrived for several decades.

A tram once ran along the street and in 1943 Wellington's first gang of female workers undertook extensive repairs on the track, and gained considerable publicity in the process.

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- The Wellingtonian


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