EASTERN BEACH BATHING COMPLEX AND RESERVE

Location

1 RITCHIE BOULEVARD and 31 EASTERN BEACH ROAD GEELONG, GREATER GEELONG CITY

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Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number

H0929

Heritage Overlay Number

HO903

Level of Significance

Registered

79826

Extent of Registration

AMENDMENT OF REGISTER OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS
Historic Building No. 929.
Eastern Beach Bathing Complex and Reserve, Eastern Beach, Geelong.
To the extent of:
1. All of those buildings, works and structures contained within the area known as Eastern Beach including the dressing shed (B-1); the kiosk (B-)2; repair shed (B-3); timber promenade (B-4); children's pool (B-5); sea wall (B-6); shelters (B-7); pergola (B-8); staircases and balustrades (B-9); footpaths and paving (B-10); lamps (B-11); fountain base (B-12); fountain centre (B-13); rotunda (B-14) marked on Plan 852322G(A) (but excluding those structures such as shelters, bins and seats which were not part of the original design) endorsed by the Chairperson, Historic Buildings Council and held by the Director, Historic Buildings Council;
2. All the land marked by a dotted line L-1 on Plan 852322G(B), being Crown Land Reserve RS3941 and Public Park Reserve RS1589 endorsed by Chairperson, Historic Buildings Council and held by the Director, Historic Buildings Council.
[Victoria Government Gazette No. G32 19 August 1992 p.2358]

Statement of Significance

Constructed between 1928 and 1939, the Eastern Beach Bathing Complex is the last major enclosed sea bathing facility to be constructed on Port Phillip Bay, and represents the culmination of the ethos of sea bathing. Eastern Beach has provided a focal point for Geelong's outdoor activities.

Eastern Beach Promenade is also significant in being the only original structure that survives of the many sea-baths which once dominated Port Phillip Bay's foreshore.

Eastern Beach represents an innovative example of the work of structural engineer and architect, Harry Hare, whose design for the Eastern Beach foreshore redevelopment works won the competition in 1924-5. The baths, including timber promenade and concrete children's pool were constructed to a plan drawn up by City Surveyor Ian McDonald in 1937 and is unique within Victoria.

The sea-baths are illustrative of the traditional pastime of sea bathing, popular since the 1840s and are representative of the transition from segregated and private bathing in the 19th century to mixed public bathing and pursuit of sport and leisure in the early 20th century.

The design of Eastern Beach Bathing Complex and landscaped reserve with curved sea walls, circular promenade (baths), circular concrete children's pool, symmetry of the landscaping and structures about the staircase, original buildings, shelters, fountain, lamp standards and extensive original planting forms an area of consistent and quite outstanding character and it is the only known example within Victoria.

Year Construction Started 1928
Architectural Style Interwar Period (c.1919-c.1940) Moderne
Heritage Act Categories Registered place
Municipality GREATER GEELONG CITY; GREATER GEELONG CITY

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