Church Walk Park was laid out in 1924 as part of the urban improvements commenced after Newcastle's residents voted by referendum to build a new City Hall nearby.

This area became "Civic".

A brief history...

Why Church Walk Park? Well... Once City Hall was constructed Church Walk Park formed a pedestrian link between link between the two most important buildings in the City, Christchurch Cathedral and City Hall!

You can see the site of Church Walk Park as the rise to the left of the railway.

Before 1924

Before Church Walk Park existed the area was a sand dune that formed the lower part of what came to be known as the The Hill. The local Community has asked the Awabakal Land Council for more information about the pre-European history of the area occupied by the park and whether any place names are known.

After European settlement the first coal mine in Australia was at the Eastern end of the city block that comprises the park and Australia's first gravity railway served that mine. The former Harbourmaster's residence still sits up by the Eastern edge of the park.

Eventually the lower part of the sand dune was used as a railway embankment that served the Australian Agricultural Company mines in Cooks Hill. The trains travelled up the embankment (currently the King Street slip road that runs in front of the park) and out across a railway bridge that ran along Crown Street to the foreshore, where coal was loaded onto ships.

When the Australian Agricultural Company sought to develop its land holdings in the area in the early 20th century some of the City's best art deco buildings were constructed. Finnegans, the Kloster Car Showroom (currently Foghorn) and Corona Buildings were all constructed at this time.

The sandy patch is the current site of "The Moorings" with the trees beyond being the current site of Church Walk Park.

Looking West along King Street. The image shows the Church Walk Park Embankment with the AA Co built building to the right (now Finnegans). The light poles are still in use.

The original, more modest plan for "The Moorings".

Mayor Morris Light to the 1930s

The campaign for a larger City Hall for Newcastle also occurred in the early 1920s and, after the area near the intersection of King and Darby Streets was selected for the site of City Hall, the area came to be developed as the Civic Centre for the City. Church Walk Park was laid as part of the Civic District ... as was Civic Park, and you can still see some of the original lighting that united the area into a single plan. The park dates to 1924, the year that Morris Light became Mayor, the driving force behind the completion of City Hall.

Lena Campbell owner of the famous Star Hotel acquired land adjacent to the new park after she sold her Hotel to a brewery and used the land to build two grand Art Deco apartment blocks adjacent to the new park. The Moorings was built for single men as bachelor flats, and Cliff Towers was built for families.

When the park, the Moorings and Cliff Towers were new.

Decorative planter at "The Moorings" adjacent to Church Walk Park.

The Moorings, one of the heritage significant art deco buildings next to Church Walk Park.

Decorative art deco urns at Cliff Towers.

Click to view historical Newspaper clippings about Church Walk Park.

The full Trove list of newspaper articles about Church Walk Park can be found at the link below.

Many thanks to community historian Robert Watson for compiling this list!