The former State Savings Bank of Victoria, 59 Whyte Street, Coleraine is a two storey brick building incorporating a banking chamber with other offices on the ground floor and a manager's residence on the upper floor. It is located at the south-east corner of Whyte and Henty Streets in the centre of Coleraine. It was built in 1920 to the design of the Melbourne architects, Sydney Smith and Ogg who were responsible for many of the rural branches of the newly formed State Savings Bank. The State Savings Bank was a government response to the dramatic failure of private banks in the 1890s and other perceived failings. While still the conventional combination of banking facilities and manager's residence, the more domestic and less formal architecture of the building reflects this shift in banking style. In the 1990s, the State Savings Bank was bought out by the Commonwealth Bank, which was founded on similar principles. Now vacant as a result of branch closure policies, the building is in good condition and retains a high degree of integrity.
How is it significant?
The former State Savings Bank of Victoria is of architectural and historical significance to the community of Coleraine and to the Shire of Southern Grampians
Why is it significant?
The former State Savings Bank of Victoria at Coleraine is of architectural significance as an example of the work of leading Melbourne architects, Sydney Smith and Ogg, who designed many branches for the State Savings Bank Of Victoria, and as a comparison with the other banks in Coleraine and the Shire.
The former State Savings Bank of Victoria is of historic significance for demonstrating at the local level the government-guaranteed alternative to the private banking corporations and for its role in lending for housing and closer land settlement in the Coleraine region at a time when the town's importance as a regional centre was expanding.
STATE SAVINGS BANK OF VICTORIA (FORMER) - Physical Description 1
The former State Savings Bank of Victoria is a two storey brick building incorporating a banking chamber with other offices on the ground floor and a manager's residence on the first floor. Its form is generally rectangular but there is a single storey service wing at the rear and a recent extension to the east. The corrugated iron roof is a simple hip and has distinctively broad eaves. The style of the building, a transitional mixture of Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts influences, is conservative. It uses face red brick, contrasting smooth render and, on the walls of the upper floor, rough cast. The whole is on a dressed blustone plinth. The architectural style of the State Savings Bank at Coleraine contrasts with the stricter classical styles of the 19th century banks in Whyte Street. The conscious use of a more domestic style reflects the Bank's desire to project an image compatible with the prevailing market trends. The extension to the east is relatively sympathetic matching the bricks and fenestration.