Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The Coleraine Mechanics Institute is a single storey rendered brick building located at the corner of Winter and Pilleau Streets, two blocks south of the central activities area of Coleraine. The design is classical, and combines a trabeated and an arcuated system to delineate the facade. The building in Winter Street was built as a Library and Reading Room, to alleviate space constraints at the original Mechanics Institute in Whyte Street, which continued to function as the town's public hall for some years subsequently. A new public hall was built behind the Library and Reading Room at Winter Street, which opened with a gala evening on 25 May 1910. Various alterations and additions were made over the years, including the Supper Room on the south side of the main hall, and the timber and iron meeting room at the rear in 1905. The latter has since been relocated. The Mechanics Institute underwent substantial modifications in 1977, resulting in a number of unsympathetic brick additions including kitchen and toilet facilities.
How is it significant?
The Coleraine Mechanics Institute is of architectural, historical and social significance to the township of Coleraine.
Why is it significant?
The Coleraine Mechanics Institute is of architectural significance as a prominent landmark in Winter Street, and makes a major contribution to the townscape of Coleraine. Despite unsympathetic additions, the original Library and Reading Room survive as a finely executed example of the Renaissance Revival style, one of only three public buildings in Coleraine to demonstrate the style.
Coleraine Mechanics Institute is historically significant as the main setting for public events in the town since the early twentieth century, carrying on the tradition established in Whyte Street in 1869. The complex of buildings has served as the town's library and public reading room, public hall, meeting place for clubs and societies, recreation centre and cinema.
Coleraine Mechanics Institute is of social significance to the community of Coleraine for its continuing role as the town's library and main venue for public events.
MECHANICS INSTITUTE - Physical Description 1
The Coleraine Mechanics Institute at Winter Street is a collection of connected structures. The single storey library building facing Winter Street was built in 1896 in the Renaissance Revival style. It is constructed of rendered brickwork with a hipped, corrugated iron roof, topped with an unusual cylindrical vent. A central segmental arched doorway is flanked on each side by a pair of segmental arched windows with moulded surrounds, treated as stilted arches on an intermediate cornice. Superimposed on the facade is a trabeated system of paired end pilasters, a podium and a moulded entablature. The entry is denoted by a portico with pilasters and columns in antis surmounted by a segmental curved pediment.
The main hall is constructed of timber and clad with ripple iron which is clearly visible at the rear. The corrugated iron hipped roof is topped with a lantern and the north side features a decorative gable. Internally the room is lined with decorative pressed metal work.
Unsympathetic alterations completed in 1977 include the enlargement of the hall on both sides as an extension of the main roof, and the addition of a kitchen and toilet block. The east wall of the meeting room has been clad in pseudo brick. Minor alterations have occurred in more recent years.
MECHANICS INSTITUTE - Physical Conditions
The building is in good condition internally and externally
MECHANICS INSTITUTE - Historical Australian Themes
3. Developing local, regional and national economies
3.21 Entertaining for profit
6.1 Forming associations, libraries, and institutes for self-education
8. Developing Australia's cultural life
8.5 Forming associations
8.5.4 Pursuing common leisure interests
8.14 Living in the country and rural settlements
MECHANICS INSTITUTE - Usage/Former Usage
MECHANICS INSTITUTE - Integrity
Fair degree of integrity externally and internally.
Heritage Study and Grading
Southern Grampians - Southern Grampians Shire Heritage Study
Author: Timothy Hubbard P/L, Annabel Neylon
HOLY TRINITY ANGLICAN CHURCH COMPLEXVictorian Heritage Register H0246
COLERAINE COURTHOUSE (FORMER)Southern Grampians Shire
STORE (FORMER) AND BOARDING HOUSESouthern Grampians Shire
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687