Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Complex was opened by Sir Frank Beaurepaire in 1940 and designed by local architect EJ Peck and city engineers EJ Muntz and J Hocking. As constructed, the complex comprised an entrance pavilion, an Olympic swimming pool, an octagonal wading pool, and service buildings all within a garden setting. The reinforced concrete and brick entrance pavilion was designed in a style strongly influenced by the aesthetics of European functionalism. The Maryborough complex was contemporary with a number of other similar municipal council schemes providing modern, safe and hygienic swimming facilities, manifesting the changing public nature of bathing and swimming from chiefly a health related activity to a recreational pursuit. An intermediate pool was added to the Maryborough complex in 1973. The site remains remarkably intact, with the original pools, entrance pavilion and planting scheme retained in close to original condition.
How is it significant?
The Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Complex is of architectural, aesthetic and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The swimming complex is architecturally significant as a rare, intact example of a swimming pool complex designed in the late 1930s. The entrance pavilion is architecturally important as a recreational building employing the architectural language promoted by European functionalist architects of the 1920s and 1930s and symbolising a concern for modernity, safety and hygiene.
The complex has aesthetic significance as a well planned recreational facility with an intact, late 1930s garden setting, all picturesquely set within and overlooking a nineteenth century municipal park.
The Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Complex is historically significant as an example of a municipal pool complex illustrating the development of swimming in Victoria during the inter-war period. The pool complex has historical significance for its special association with Frank Beaurepaire, being one of the few surviving pools opened by him as part of his long commitment to swimming in Victoria and, particularly, associated with his fostering of building programmes encouraging the provision of municipal pools throughout the state.
MARYBOROUGH MUNICIPAL OLYMPIC SWIMMING COMPLEX - HistoryContextual History:History of Place:
The Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Pool Complex was officially opened in December 1940 by the then Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Frank Beaurepaire. The complex was designed by local architect EJ Peck with engineering assistance from city engineers, EJ Muntz and J Hocking.
Swimming experienced a remarkable surge in popularity during the inter-war period; a result of social trends and Australian swimming successes at early twentieth century Olympic Games. Previously swimming was undertaken more as a health restoring activity, but during the 1920s it became a recreational pursuit, with swimming popularised at the sea-side and in swimming pools. Previously public bathing was carried out in natural water holes and public baths. The first large municipal pool in Victoria, the Collingwood Baths now Melbourne City Baths opened in 1896. As popularity increased concern for the safety of bathers also increased and the increase in the number of swimming pools was seen to encourage safety. Swimming pools were a particularly important feature of many inland centres where access to the sea-side was restricted. Manifesting the popularity of swimming during the inter-war years are the extant bathing pavilions and swimming pool pavilions constructed during this period and an important aspect of these buildings was the careful consideration of hygienic provisions. This concern affected the design of many types of other buildings during this period. Hospital design, theatre design high density low-cost housing, airport terminals and recreational buildings were subject to a new aesthetic, influenced by modernist functionalism and affirming, at least aesthetically , the high standards of hygiene and modernity in these new buildings. Many swimming complexes were constructed throughout Victoria during this period the design of which employed the functionalist architectural idiom. In particular complexes constructed at Box Hill and Rutherglen.
The Maryborough pool complex in Maryborough was constructed in 1939-40 at a cost of £8700 to the design of architect, EJ Peck and city engineers, EJ Muntz and J Hocking. Proposals for the new pool began in the late 1930s and were advanced when the local councillor’s made a tour of northern Victoria inspecting various pool complexes to aid decision making with their own. Expense was a large issue and although charges were to be made for public use of the pool these would not defray the expense of construction causing much debate among the councillors. However it was decided to proceed with the plan and a site was chosen in a section of Princes Park Reserve, on the banks of Lake Victoria. Princes Park was set aside as a public reserve as early as September 1857 when the Maryborough Cricket Club requested flat land for their games. In the 1880s a section of the park was dug out and Lake Victoria was formed. Previously public swimming baths were located on the banks of this Lake.
When opened the new complex comprised two pools, the main pool and an octagonal wading pool, important in the swimming training of younger children. A formal tree planting scheme implemented at this time which included the Weeping Elms, Bhutan Cypresses, Himalayan and Blue Atlas Cedars, Southern Mahogany and Golden Glossy Privet. Frank Beaurepaire opened the Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Complex on Saturday, 7 December 1940 in front of 2000 local residents. To commemorate the opening, a large front page report detailing the event was in the Monday edition of The Maryborough Advertiser.
Beaurepaire, a former Olympics swimming champion was instrumental in the establishment of swimming pools in Victoria after his fostering a state wide campaign in 1928 encouraging swimming training among the young. In his role on the Melbourne City Council, to which he was elected in 1928, he encouraged development of swimming and the establishment of swimming pools. Among those pools constructed while he was on a municipal committee managing the construction of swimming facilities were Footscray, Brunswick, Carlton, North Melbourne and Batman Avenue. During 1929 Beaurepaire opened fifteen pools in regional Victoria and this keen interest in the construction of pools in regional centres continued for many years.
Maryborough Pool has continued in its use as a public swimming pool complex since its construction with very few changes. An intermediate pool was added to the complex in 1973. This maintained the aesthetic established by the first two pools, with a low plinth surrounding the pool’s edge clad with rectangular ceramic tiles. The two 1940s diving boards were replaced in the 1980s with a single board at the north eastern end of the main pool. A re-inforced concrete pump house has been extended since construction, though the original filtering system is still in use.
Associated People: Assoc.People BEAUREPAIRE, F
MARYBOROUGH MUNICIPAL OLYMPIC SWIMMING COMPLEX - Permit Exemptions
1. Approved 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 my 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.
2. 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 the Policy and Plan.
3. 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.
ALL ATTENTION OF THE APPLICANT AND/OR OWNER IS DRAWN TO THE NEED TO OBTAIN ALL OTHER RELEVANT PERMITS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS.
MARYBOROUGH MUNICIPAL OLYMPIC SWIMMING COMPLEX - 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:
* Repairs to pool surface and signs and surrounding seating including painting and tile maintenance
* Ongoing maintenance of associated equipment such as pumps, filters, PH tester, pipes, backwash valve and repairs to cracks.
* Replacement of chemical testing equipment with electronic equipment.
* Painting of change room floors in amenities building with non-slip surface.
* Installation of mechanical ventilation in change rooms, provided ventilation is through the ceiling and equipment is obscured from view.
MARYBOROUGH COURT HOUSEVictorian Heritage Register H1475
MARYBOROUGH RAILWAY STATIONVictorian Heritage Register H1577
PRINCE'S PARKVictorian Heritage Register H1880
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687