Where Hunter Street meets the river, at Horseshoe Bend, stood an 1890s cottage beneath the shade of a huge camphor laurel tree.
It was the oil canvas people on guided heritage walks would stop to admire, sitting on the grassy river bank, eating a sandwich.
The gears of progress however were too hard to stop and now, for David Butler, there is nothing left of the 1890s cottage but dust and the memory of what once was.
Based on a 2010 council determination that the brick, weatherboard and tin cottage had “low to moderate” heritage value it was torn down by All Saints College to make way for an industrial arts facility at the back of its St Peter’s Campus.
“There was no way we could fight it,” Mr Butler said. “It was six residents against God and bottomless pockets.”
Between the old residents moving out and demolition works beginning, the house was used by squatters.
It is also understood many of the heritage features were stripped by people across Maitland for their own homes before the demolition.
“I get stopped here consistently by people walking and riding past who are absolutely appalled by this, who remember what it was like,” Mr Butler said.
“It was a big reason why I bought a home here and it has destroyed the street’s heritage value and a big part of why I bought here.
“People say to me all the time the heritage buildings are why they moved to Maitland. One by one, though, they’re knocking them down.”