Lands Office (State Government Offices) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Lands Office (State Government Offices)

Item details

Name of item: Lands Office (State Government Offices)
Other name/s: Lands Board Office
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Government and Administration
Category: Office building
Location: Lat: -33.285885 Long: 149.098616
Primary address: 92 Kite Street, Orange, NSW 2800
Local govt. area: Orange
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
92 Kite StreetOrangeOrange  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This is a fine public building by the Government Architect. W.L. Vernon, consistent with a standard type constructed in variations in regional NSW, displaying restrained detailing and considerable recognition of climactic needs, and it underlines the closer settlement in the surrounding district in the early 1900s.
Date significance updated: 23 Jan 11
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Government Architect: W.L. Vernon
Physical description: Lofty building of fine brickwork with wide tile gable roof over a central wall with clear storey dormer glazing along east and west rooves. Low pitched verandah on three sides supported on a colonnade of brick piers with waist high verandah wall. Large hipped roofed entrance room, with rendered pilasters and arched bracket mould decoration.
The verandahs have projecting shaped rafters. Double hung sash windows sit in roughcast bays between brick piers on the side elevations.
Small high level windows on the facade have flat red brick arches, and there is also a bank of clear storey windows on this elevation. Roughcast gable end is si8mply modulated by timber battens. The roof is surmounted by a dome ventilation turret and flag pole.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Integrity: good; Condition: good.
Date condition updated:10 Nov 10
Modifications and dates: Sympathetic alterations: Fence
Further information: Materials: Local buff bricks, roughcast; orange terracotta tile roof.
Notable features: Verandah decoration, verandah roof and structure, unpainted brickwork.
Streetscape: Level 1


Historical notes: Orange continued to grow in other directions and by packing more tightly the residential and business areas of the original square mile. The opening of the Crown Lands Office in Kite Street building in 1885, as an early exercise in decentralisation, not only brought business but also confirmed Orange's premier position in the late Victorian mid-west. The establishment of the office was part of a revision of the 1861 Crown Lands Act. As well as making changes to land tenure and land holding, the revisions also clarified procedure and created a new administrative structure to oversee the process of the alienation of land.

Land Boards were created across NSW and operated like a court to arbitrate on matters of land. Land Board offices were created across NSW for this function. Orange would develop from being an office with mid range business in 1901 to becoming the second busiest in the state by 1911 and remaining so for at least ten years. This increased business was reflected in the completion of a new building in 1910.

"Designed by W.L. Vernon and built in 1909 in the Edwardian style of architecture with semi-circular windows, rough cast walls and terra cotta tiles on the roof".
(Derek Woolcott, Walking Tour Leaflet).

"The Lands Board Office had a slate roof until after World War II, and it was replaced by tiles because slate was difficult to obtain.
It is a very light building with lots of windows. This was to provide plenty of light for the draftsmen who worked in there.
When I worked there during the war years, there was a very secure strongroom or strong box in the middle of the building, and on top of this there was a large cylindrical drum, about twice as high as a man. It was used to stretch the charts and maps that the draftsmen prepared'.
(Shirley Duckworth, 30 November 1996).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Lands Office-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Edwardian Civic design-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The development of the substantial building marked the prominence and growth of the region centred on Orange and the requirement to arbitrate, determine and map changes to crown lands.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
W.L. Vernon Government Architect with NSW Department of Public Works
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The masonry building in the Edwardian - Civic public building style, utilises early environmental design elements related to natural light and ventilation and the building retains the original character while remaining one of several examples of the model constructed in regional NSW
SHR Criteria g)
A good example of a model design developed by the Government Architect
Integrity/Intactness: Good
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Obtain relevant records and information from the department and the NSW Public Works department related to the history and significance of the site and building.


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentList on a Local Environmental Plan (LEP)29 Sep 10
Statutory InstrumentInclude in a Conservation Area within an LEP12 Apr 11
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)23 Jan 11
Recommended ManagementConsult with owner and/or community23 Jan 11


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  12 May 00 573927
Local Environmental PlanOrange Local Environmental Plan 2011I824 Feb 12   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Orange Heritage Study1985C384Hughes, Trueman, Ludlow Consultants  No
Orange community based Heritage Study 20112011 David Scobie Architects Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRoss Maroney2000Historical Society Data

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2220008

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