Avondale Town Centre
The opening of the Auckland-Kaipara Railway line in 1880 provided impetus for further development, with increase in land values in the area, and further residential development. The centre was further consolidated around this time with the opening of the primary school on its present site in 1882 and the establishment of the Jockey Club and racecourse in 1889.
The district was renamed Avondale in 1882, and it is possible that this name came from County Wicklow in Ireland, the birth place of Avondale pioneer John Bollard. Bollard was Chairman of the Whau Highway District Board, the Avondale Roads Board, the Whau and Avondale School Committees, and was a land agent and Member of Parliament for Eden. He is known as the “Father of Avondale”.
By the 1890s market gardening was the predominant use of the Rosebank Peninsula, and this use remained until the 1950s.
As the population in the area steadily increased, a significant period of development occurred in the 1920s when many of the existing buildings near the Rosebank Road intersection were built. The Avondale Picture Theatre opened in the late 1920s, featuring the new “talkies”. The tram service was extended to Avondale in 1932.
The sculpture of the Avondale Spider in the town centre represents an Australian Huntsman spider. A colony of these large spiders established in Avondale in the 1920s, probably having arrived
Extensive post-World War II development in the shopping centre, the increase in residential subdivisions, along with the establishment of the Rosebank heavy industrial area from the late 1950s helped make Avondale a thriving suburb of Auckland.