Place bounded by Peisley Street, March Street, Lords Place and Byng Street. Part of the Precinct of Central Orange.
Statement of Significance
The urban character of this area is shaped by its civic function. Whilst the presence of the court house and Robertson Park have given the area a civic meaning for more than a century, the civic character as it exists today was enhanced with the building of the Civic Centre in the 1970s. Places of civic life, such as the Civic Centre, the cultural institutions and the cenotaph of Robertson Park each have social and civic significance.
The visual relationship between Robertson Park and Hotel Canobolas is a significant character of the Civic Area. The façade of Hotel Canobolas directly faces onto Robertson Park, providing a formal backdrop to the park.
The park has a formal design centred on a cross axis. The classical formality of Robertson Park lends itself to civic ceremonies such as ANZAC Day commemorations. The park is a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of Regional Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000. Robertson Park is believed to be of significance for the Wiradjuri people.
Objects and Elements: Central Civic Area
The Civic Centre was built in the mid-1970s. It comprises the administrative offices of Orange City Council, Council Chambers, theatre and function rooms.
Sister Cities Garden
Located in the Civic Centre Forecourt a landscaped garden is dedicated to Orange’s Sister Cities of Ushiku, Japan; Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea; Timaru, New Zealand; and Orange, California.
Reuben Buensal, “Banjo Paterson Memorial”, 2001
The steel cut-out memorial to Banjo Paterson, designed by Reuben Buensal, is located between the Civic Centre and the Visitor Information Centre. The work features a blue steel cut-out of Banjo Paterson set within bench seating and surrounded by three “talking books”. A motion sensor triggers an audio recording of the poetry of Banjo Paterson.
In 1996 Bronwyn Oliver was commissioned by the Friends of the Orange Regional Gallery to create an artwork to mark the 150th anniversary of white settlement in Orange. The work, titled “Seed”, evokes organic, generative forces and forms a significant piece of cultural capital for Orange.
Orange Regional Gallery
The Orange Regional Gallery opened in 1986 and won the prestigious Sulman Prize for architectural merit.
“The Well” designed by Richard Goodwin in 1992 is set within the remains of a tank from the gas works that previously occupied the site on which the IGA now stands. The architectonic truss structure sits on a covered well filled with old clothing donated by Orange residents. The well, thus becomes a repository of memory and the work above it a symbol of the opposing forces of nature and humanity.
Ian Marr, Stones Inscriptions
Installed within the ground are two stone inscriptions by local artist Ian Marr. Short poetic pieces have been engraved in the stones. The subtle siting of the works within the ground imparts a sense of humbleness before nature.
Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
An uncommon species in Australia with a particularly striking Winter bronze colouring, the swamp cypress represents the almost experimental approach to the planting design that can be seen throughout the park.
Country Women’s Association Hall
Located within Robertson Park, the CWA Hall was originally opened in 1902 as the Orange City Bowling Club. The Bowling Club moved to Anson Street in 1922 and the CWA took over the hall. The hall has social significance as the first Baby Health Centre in Orange.
Sir Neville Howse Memorial
Designed by local artist Les Quick in 2000 the memorial commemorated the life of Orange resident Sir Neville Howse VC. The three sided monument celebrates the three aspects of Sir Neville Howse’s life: Soldier, Doctor and Statesman.
The War Memorial was originally sited within the road at the intersection of Summer and Anson Streets and was moved to Robertson Park in the 1930s.
The fountain was built by Cobb and Co on the retirement of William Franklin Whitney in 1896, one of the partners of Cobb and Co. The fountain was constructed from Italian Marble and is said to have been paid for by docking five pounds from each Cobb and Co employee’s wages.
Robertson Park is characterised by linear plantings such as the avenue on Lords Place (pictured above).
The Cenotaph was built in 1952 and dedicated to “those who paid the supreme sacrifice”. It forms a socially significant site of civic remembrance.
Built in 1882-83 and designed by colonial architect James Barnett. The courthouse is listed on the Register of the National Estate for the architectural significance of its Classical architectural styling, its demonstration of Orange’s prosperity in the late nineteenth century, its social function and its place in Orange’s townscape. It is also a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of National Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000.
Completed in 1939, Hotel Canobolas was recognised for many years as one of the state’s premier hotels outside of Sydney. Elements of the hotel’s Art Deco façade align with the axial layout of Robertson Park.