Originally the merchant and middle classes lived like others around the port.
It was necessary to walk to their places of business. Soon this began to change and a few examples will illustrate the process. Duke Street was built for the merchant classes in the 1760s. It boasted a tree-lined walk and such gentlemanly institutions as the Union News room opened in 1801. Gradually, however, Duke Street was abandoned as houses were sold off separately from the gardens behind them which were built on to provide working class housing. Dukes Terrace, the last surviving example of back-to-back housing in Liverpool, provides evidence of the process.
The story is one of the merchant and middle classes moving further and further from the centre of Liverpool, especially as transport became easier and the land upon which they were living became increasing valuable. Old ordnance survey maps of the Everton area provide an excellent example. The 1848 60 inch map of Everton Street shows it to be an area of substantial houses with large gardens. On the equivalent 1893 map, the majority of these had been replaced by terraces of working class housing.
As a result, many of the wealthier classes moved further out to developments such as Grassendale and Cressington Parks. These date from the 1840s and contain many large Victorian and Edwardian villas. Cressington Station was opened in 1861 made the centre of Liverpool very accessible. In this continuing process, of course, many moved away altogether as can be seen in developments in places such as Waterloo.