The buildings (exteriors and interiors) and other features of the Bendigo School of Mines (Bendigo TAFE) constructed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century for educational purposes. This includes Building A (Former Mechanics Institute and School of Mines Building), Building E (Former School of Mines and Industries Building), Building H (Former Junior Technical School), the 1880s and 1890s portions of Building L (Former Mechanics Institute Library and Senior Chemistry Laboratory and Assaying Room), Building M (Former Chemistry and Metallurgy Laboratories) and the palisade fence along the McCrae Street frontage and its attached gates.
HOW IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Bendigo School of Mines (Bendigo TAFE) is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria for the following reasons:
Criterion A Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Criterion D Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural place and objects.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Bendigo School of Mines (Bendigo TAFE) is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The Bendigo School of Mines (Bendigo TAFE) is historically significant as a centre of mining and metallurgical education which was important to the goldmining industry and the wealth of Victoria in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The range of buildings and other features on the site collectively demonstrate the evolution of technical and vocational education from the 1850s onwards. The early foundations of technical education are evident in the Former Mechanics Institute, Former Mechanics Institute Library and array of Former School of Mines buildings. The scale and prominence of these buildings demonstrates the central role played by these Mechanics Institutes and Schools of Mines in the later part of the nineteenth century. The Former Junior Technical School demonstrates how earlier forms of technical education evolved into trades education in the early twentieth century. [Criterion A].
The Bendigo School of Mines (Bendigo TAFE) is architecturally significant as a fine representative example of a technical education campus. It consists of buildings of different types and eras that were constructed for specific educational purposes. Together they express both the practical requirements of technical education and its ongoing importance. The place includes a number of notable individual nineteenth-century buildings designed by the distinguished German architect W.C. Vahland. The Former Mechanics Institute and Former School of Mines buildings on McCrae Street display fine Classical characteristics. The laboratory buildings are significant as remaining examples of Vahland's designs for practical buildings. The Former Mechanics Institute Library is a highly original interior space with decoration by important artist and modeller, Otto Waschatz, and is an excellent example of his work. [Criterion D].