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Community & Business

17 March, 2022

Miller Street in miniature - nine years on

Virginia Paton is the artist behind the ‘Miller Street in Miniature’ exhibition, that was on display at the Coo-ee Heritage Centre between May and June of 2013.

By Emily Middleton

This model is of two street blocks of the main CBD area of Miller Street.

It depicts a moment in time, a capture of Miller Street in February 2008.

This is set prior to the Miller Street fire that destroyed a few of the iconic buildings.

“When I made the model of the street, my intention wasn’t to make a whole model of the street, it was to make three buildings; the Golden West Hotel that was being demolished, the department store, and something else I can’t remember,” said Mrs Paton.

“And then it just became a monster!”

The model took three years, from 2010 - 2013, and over 44 hundred hours to complete.

“Well that’s just a ‘guesstimate’,” said Mrs Paton.

What prompted the building of the Miller Street miniature was the fire that occurred in February 2009.

“It just changed that street. A year later I woke up one morning and suddenly thought I need to make those buildings, the ones that are missing,” explained Mrs Paton.

“As it sort of became a beast instead of a couple of buildings I thought, gee you know, it just looks so real, I wonder if it could go on exhibition. “You forget so quickly what things used to look like.”

Mrs Paton is saddened that collective 28-foot model of Miller Street is currently packed away in storage containers. She believes there is a place for it somewhere in the town, but is unsure where.

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