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The land across the water from Sydney's Harbour that would become McMahons Point was home to the Cammeraygal Aboriginal people when a land grant was given to free settler James Milson in 1807, however it would be a further 50 years until significant settlement occurred in the area. McMahons Point derives its name from Irish manufacturer Maurice McMahon who built a large property on the point overlooking the harbour in 1864 and went on to become one of the area's most influential residents. The suburb's other notable early settler was the Jamaican Sydney Harbour waterman Billy Blue who was also granted land on the peninsula with the suburb's Blues Point Road was named in his honour.
Frequent ferry services from Circular Quay to McMahons Point and the extension of the railway line down the coast from Hornsby to North Sydney by the mid 1800s would make access to the area easier. Settlement in the picturesque suburb increased aided in part by the development of ship building yards along the shoreline. However it would be the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932 that would truly redefine the area. With a railway line extended over the bridge to North Sydney and a road crossing the harbour complementing the ferry services already available to residents, the underdeveloped harbour-fronted suburb was quickly built up with the popular Californian bungalow style complementing the suburbs existing Victorian era terraces. It would also make McMahons Point a popular destination for day-tripping Sydneysiders with the American Luna Park franchise opening a Sydney branch on the site of the disused Harbour Bridge Factory on the suburb's shoreline.
A decision by the NSW Government to rezone McMahons foreshore to become a industrial area in 1957 was strongly opposed by the suburbs residents who lobbied for the residential profile of McMahons Point to be nourished. This effort led by Sydney architect Harry Seidler would overturn the controversial decision and led to the construction of the Seidler designed Blues Point Tower in 1966. Built as a testament to the suburbs investment in a residential future, the tower seemed incongruous with the otherwise low density housing of the area and would be as controversial as the rezoning decision it replaced. With its residential profile still intact, the quiet and leafy suburb is one of Sydney's most sought after addresses, with period housing, a bustling village and spectacular views attracting record home prices.
SSC11643: McMahons Point