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.
EASTERN BEACH BATHING COMPLEX AND RESERVE - Permit Exemptions
CONDITIONS: 1. Exempt reconstruction works must not involve the alteration or introduction of any materials / practices which would perceivably alter the appearance of the registered element.
2. Existing bluestone must be reused for reconstruction of the pathway retaining walls.
3. This exemption does not permit the realignment of any pathways or retaining walls without the prior written satisfaction of the Executive Director.
4. Exempt classes of works or activities are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the registered place / object. However, if other previously hidden original or inaccessible details of the object or place are uncovered, any works that may affect such items shall immediately cease. The Executive Director shall be notified of the details immediately to enable Heritage Victoria representatives to inspect and record the items, and for discussion to take place on the possible retention of the items, or the issue of a modified approval.
5. If there is a Conservation Policy and Plan approved by the Heritage Council or Executive Director, all works and activities shall be carried out in accordance with that Policy and Plan.
6. Nothing in this Declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exempt alterations provided work has not commenced on the alteration.
THE ATTENTION OF THE APPLICANT AND/OR OWNER IS DRAWN TO THE NEED TO OBTAIN ALL OTHER RELEVANT PERMITS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS.
EASTERN BEACH BATHING COMPLEX AND RESERVE - Permit Exemption Policy
Pursuant to Section 66(1) of the Heritage Act (1995) and in respect to the above-registered place / object, the Executive Director hereby DECLARES EXEMPT THE OWNERS NEED TO OBTAIN A PERMIT TO CARRY OUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CLASSES OF WORKS OR ACTIVITIES, SUBJECT TO ANY CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED HEREUNDER:
* Stabilisation and reconstruction of existing bitumen footpaths in accordance with details set out in Drawing No.GC00706, entitled “Eastern Beach Footpath Reconstruction Detail Plan” prepared by City Services Design Unit, dated March 1996, endorsed and attached to this exemption.