• Ian Willis deposited A new horizon on Sydney’s urban frontier: the St Elmo land releases. in the group Group logo of Urban StudiesUrban Studies on Humanities Commons 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Journalist Jeff McGill recently wrote an opinion piece in the Campbel/town Macarthur Advertiser with the heading ‘Nothing “yucky” about fibro cottages’. He continued that ‘Macarthur’s first big housing development was Campbelltown’s St Elmo Estates of the 1950s, guided by Neil McLean, a much-loved developer’.1 The McLean St Elmo land releases were an exercise in urban place-making under the post-war influence of the County of Cumberland Plan and a change point in the history of a country town. The McLean story is characterised by a number of firsts in Campbelltown’s urban growth and the continuity of a number of factors that are still present today. During the years of the McLean project, the town doubled in size and triggered the re-making of place based on the lived experience of ex-servicemen and their families. Their stories of place changed the rural landscape around their cultural traditions, social organisations, familial and interpersonal networks and their desires and expectations for a new start after the horrors of war. The new arrivals created a new narrative based on their status as out$ders in a frontier of fibro and weatherboard under the influence of post-war austerity and modernism.