That big pink building

BACK IN THE DAY: The CBS Bank building (far left) on Otho Street in Inverell, c1910.
BACK IN THE DAY: The CBS Bank building (far left) on Otho Street in Inverell, c1910.

The imposing two-storey pink building located on the corner of Otho and Evans Streets, opposite the Inverell Town Hall, was once the local office of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney.

The bank had commenced business in Byron Street Inverell in 1866 and although they purchased the land in Otho Street in 1881, this large Victorian classical style building was not constructed until 1891.

Built by Langley Brothers of Sydney at a cost of approximately $10,000, it is similar to some of the other 53 bank buildings designed by prominent Sydney architect George Mansfield.

His graceful symmetrical design also shows comparable architectural features to the Inverell courthouse built a few years earlier.

The interior of the building featured cedar timber finishes and included upstairs accommodation for the manager. Stables for their horses were built at the rear.

The upstairs balcony would have provided the manager’s family with a bird’s eye view of the building of the Byron Arcade, post office and Inverell Town Hall as well as various street parades and floods.

By 1913 the premises needed updating and renovating.  

Local builder Mr. C. Harris was contracted to enclose the old veranda, fit the new Queensland maple counter, extend the manager’s office and to make separate offices for the accountant and clerks.

Beautiful pressed metal ceilings were installed as was electric lighting. Further renovations costing $20,000 were carried out in 1955.

Following the bank’s merger with the National Australia Bank in 1981, the building was sold.

The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Inverell branch had served the district for 115 years. It was part of the development of the town, from its humble beginning to a thriving community.

Since 1981 the building has been a photography and framing business, and is now home to Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology.

Although more renovations have been carried out, the extensive use of cedar timber and the stunning ceilings can still be seen today.