Rebuilding River Street

By SALLY GORDON

ALMOST a century of Clarence River history will be demolished to rubble tomorrow when excavators move in to knock down the blackened skeleton of Maclean's fire-ravaged River Street buildings.

The Clarence Valley Council has issued 48-hour demolition notices to the two building owners.

Wizard Demolition is expecting its machinery to arrive from Brisbane today, with major works planned to start early tomorrow.

Tomorrow's demolition of the site will mark the end of an era for a section of Maclean's River Street trading precinct.

Information supplied by the the Maclean Historical Society indicates the Cafe Boulevarde building was constructed in 1907 by the then Argyle Hotel owner, Ann Cummins.

One of the first tenants was Garabaldi Tyler, who ran a photographic studio. Mr Tyler was only one of a long list of tenants to occupy the block.

Restoration of the building by Dale James was completed in 2001 and included the reconstruction of the two-storey verandah, re-roofing and repair of the original shopfronts.

Carmell Sanne, owner of the former Little Blue Wren build- ing, said that in the early days, the building at 193 River Street was home to a women's boarding house.

She said the former Little Blue Wren Store had housed a number of businesses over the years including a second-hand shop, a travel agent and a drapery store.

Mrs McSwan believes the town lost a valuable historical asset in Monday's fire.

"It was so sad because a great improvement to the town was brought about with the refurbishment of that building and now two or three years later, it's all gone," she said.

"The buildings were very valuable to the town.

"In the earlier days the town extended down much further with shops and hotels which have long gone. In their day they would have been a nice link between the CBD and ex- tended area."



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