2-4 MERCER STREET GEELONG, GREATER GEELONG CITYGoogle Maps and Google Streetview
Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number
Heritage Overlay Number
Level of Significance
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AMENDMENT OF REGISTER OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS
What is significant?
The Bay View Hotel, originally called the Western Hotel, was built in 1853-54 to a design by the prominent Geelong architect John Young. The three storey structure has a Barrabool sandstone facade with framed windows, balustraded parapet and a curved corner accentuating the entrance. The original balustraded parapet has been replaced with a more ornamental balustrade and the exterior has been painted. The building was used for a short while as a private school in the late 1860s and as a boarding establishment in the 1880s. It reverted to its original use as a hotel in the 1880s.
How is it significant?
The Bay View Hotel is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Bay View is architecturally significant as an important example of stylised Renaissance Revival architecture in Victoria. It is a notable work of the architect John Young, the Tuscan details of the centre row of windows and the distinctive curved corner entrance being characteristic of his work.
The substantial hotel, situated to capture the passing coach traffic, is historically significant for its associations with the gold rush era when Geelong experienced a boom in population and commercial activity. The building demonstrates the emergence of a more ambitious and sophisticated architectural design characteristic of the gold rush period.
The building is also of historical interest for the way in which its changing patterns of occupancy in the 19th century reflect the changing circumstances of Geelong's economy from the gold rush boom to the decline which commenced in the 1860s.