The bulldozers of progress have carved their way through many Orange landmarks as the city has evolved over the past 170 years.
Here’s our trip down memory lane looking at many former buildings and what they have become.
1 Bowen’s mill and Strand Theatre (now the Salvation Army Family Store)
The Strand Theatre was one of the most popular places in Orange throughout the 20th century.
Crowds flocked to see the movies after it was built in 1910.
Historian Ross Maroney said the owner of the Orange Hotel returned from a trip to the US keen to bring the then-new movie theatre craze to Orange and built the Strand.
Before it was a theatre the site on the corner of Summer and Peisley streets was occupied by Bowen’s steam flour mill which was developed from the 1870s.
Since the theatre closed it has become a pine furniture shop and is now the Salvation Army’s Family Store.
2 Heap’s, Elwin’s and Walker’s breweries (now houses)
Heap’s brewery began a long tradition of Orange beer brewing in Moulder Street in the 1870s. It was taken over by Elwin and Co in 1880 and later became Walker and Co in 1903. The tall towers made the building a local standout. It was bought by Tooheys in 1926 and brewing ended. Two cottages, the manager’s office and a caretaker’s property are still standing while bricks from the demolished towers were used to construct three houses over the road.
3 Glenroi House (now a McDonalds drive-through lane)
It was once of Orange’s grandest homes.
Built in 1876 on Bathurst Road for the Bowen family, Glenroi House was a striking sight for travellers arriving into Orange.
But, like many grand buildings, the march of progress has removed it from our landscape.
What has happened to Glenroi House is one of the best examples of how life has changed.
First it lost its ornate balconies and grand fence, then it became a restaurant for a neighbouring motel and it was demolished in 1974.
Now, the grand old estate is the drive-though lane for McDonalds.
4 First post office (Now replaced by newer building)
Similarly, the city’s first post office on Summer Street has undergone many changes from its start as both the Roads Department and the Telegraph Office in 1864.
The pole out the front linked Orange with the outside world.
The new post office was built on the same site in 1880, but its appearance has changed over the years as mixed commercial uses have been added.
5 Boer War Memorial and church parsonge (now intersection and shops)
Two corners of Anson and Summer streets are unrecognisable from the early days.
The north-west corner had a two-storey church parsonage with the Boer War Memorial in the middle of the road.
The building was demolished and is now shops.
The memorial was erected in 1905 soon after the war ended in 1902 to commemorate Orange’s significant involvement in the South African conflict.
However, it was soon found to be in the way of growing car traffic and was moved down Summer Street to the Lords Place intersection where it befell the same fate.
Finally it was moved into Robertson Park where it sits today.
6 Engineering works and bank (now shops and a car park)
The south-west corner of Anson and Summer streets was originally an engineering works with a large yard behind it.
Later it became a rural bank with unusual architecture.
It has been demolished to make way for modern shops and the works’ rear yard is the Woolworths car park.
7 Gasometer and city baths [now tourist centre, museum and park]
Going to the city pool today includes all the creature comforts of heating, lane markers and classes.
One hundred years ago Orange’s main pool had none of that – but it did have a giant ball of gas to look at.
The former pool in Peisley Street (roughly where the Farmers Markets are held now) was dwarfed by a giant gas holder, known as a gasometer, built about 1914.
When it was finally demolished in 1977 the gasometer became another structure to be part of Orange’s lost landmarks.
The gasometer was replaced by the current museum/tourism centre complex and Richard Goodwin’s outdoor artwork The Well, unveiled in 1992.
By the time the gasometer was built there were 80 gas lamps in town which required a lamplighter to travel 25 kilometres every night to light, except on nights when the moon was brightest.
At the time the government was constructing roads, and just like today in Sydney, placing tolls on them.
8 The Toll Bar House (now the site of a car dealership)
The Toll Bar House was on Bathurst Road, where the Tony Leahey car dealership is now near Lone Pine Avenue, to make travellers on the Ophir and Bathurst roads pay for the privilege.
Back then orchards were more numerous than homemaker shops and car yards.
The toll was lifted in about 1875 and the building became the home of Thomas and Anna Seers until about 1883.
Historian Ross Maroney said the small building was later demolished but ancestors of the couple still live in Orange.
MAP: WHERE WERE ORANGE’S HISTORICAL BUILDINGS?
9 Wontama house 27 Summer Street (demolished)
The Wontama nursing home/aged care complex’s start included Uniting Care Ageing acquiring a house at 27 Summer Street in 1967 which gained the nameboard of Wontama.
The house next door, Berrilea, also known as Tabratong, was bequeathed to the Wontama Homes for the Aged in 1981 and both became part of a larger complex – but at the cost of the demolition of number 27.
10 Dalton Bros second flour mill (demolished)
One of the Dalton brothers largest buildings was their second flour mill in Peisley Street opposite Wade Park.
It opened in 1908 to replace their first mill on the corner of Summer and Sale streets and was worked until 1956 and later demolished.
11 Orange Gasworks [now IGA supermarket]
Before electricity, gas lighting and gas power was needed for the city.
In 1876 a gas plant that had been used in Grafton was transferred to Orange and within a year many stores and pubs had replaced kerosene with gas.
The railway arrived in 1877 allowing coal to be brought to the site on the corner of Peisley and Byng Streets.
When electricity arrived in 1923 the works became redundant.
The site was cleared in 1976 and redeveloped as a car park and IGA supermarket.
12 St Mary’s Catholic church [now Department of Primary Industries]
It’s hard to visualise it now with the huge DPI government office block on the site but the corner of Bathurst Road and Edward Street was home to St. Mary’s church and school from 1926.
The school was located behind the church until they were demolished in 1989 to make way for the government offices.
A new St Marys church was built in Park Street.
13 Peisley Street shops [soon to be La Porchetta restaurant]
Captured in 1947 as a band marches past during the Cherry Blossom festival the streetscape in Peisley Street near Summer Street is long changed.
Verandahs and poles have given way to a car yard – although the former Roberts’ Bakery building will become a La Porchetta restaurant soon and has a retro look.
14 Kite Street houses [former CWD building, soon to be accommodation complex]
The above picture of Salvation Army solider Olive Griffin, opposite the Salvos’ church in Kite Street shows a row of cottages behind.
They were later demolished to make way for the Central Western Daily office.
Planning approval has been granted for Quest Apartments to demolish the building and construct an accommodation complex.