Statement of Significance
The Malvern Primary School No.2586 opened in a wooden building leased from the Church of England in 1884, opposite Caulfield racecourse. Until 1887 it was known as the Racecourse School. In 1885 it moved to a new brick building in Tooronga Road. This building was extended in 1891-92 to include a bell tower, classroom and headmaster's office. Later three more classrooms were added. The infant Building was constructed in 1907-08 at a cost of £3784, the architect being George William Watson. The school became a Central School in 1927, offering the first two years of a high school course and acting as a feeder school for the children to go on to a high school such as Melbourne High School. During World War II some grades were transferred to Lloyd Street and third form Melbourne High School boys moved into the main building for about a year. After they left, the Malvern Girls' School took over the southern section of the main building in 1946. In 1961 a double-storey building was constructed for a library, cookery centre and music room. Malvern Girls High continued to use the building until the end of 1993 when it reverted to Tooronga Road Primary School. At that time, Malvern Girls' High School merged with the Richmond Girls High school to form the Melbourne Girls' College. A freestanding Domestic Arts Centre was built in 1945 as part of the Malvern Girls High School in the form of a single storey brick house, purpose-built to provide a model domestic interior for teaching purposes. The main school is a single storey polychrome brick building with a conical tower. It has an elongated plan with a central corridor. The 1907 infants school has a central hall with six classrooms around it on three sides. The building is constructed of red brick and is roofed with Marseilles terra cotta tiles and terra cotta ridging. The four leadlight windows at the end of the assembly hall consist of stylised flower designs. The exterior includes decorative detailing around openings of cement banding with scroll motifs and unusual scalloped edging above the windows.
Malvern Primary School No.2586 is of social, historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Malvern Primary School No.2586 is of social and historical significance as the Domestic Arts Centre constructed in 1945 reflects the government?s encouragement for women to learn domestic arts enabling them to retain their traditional roles at home after World War II. Although women had been needed in the workforce during the war, if women were encouraged to stay at home to bring up families after the war, jobs would be protected for the returned servicemen. The building?s subsequent conversion to a kitchen building in 1984 demonstrates the changing attitudes towards the teaching of domestic arts in Victoria. The collection of buildings on the site represents the mixed history of the school and its different periods of expansion and change. This includes the combined use of the school as a Primary School and High School between the years 1946 and 1993. The Infant building is important as an example of an infant school, which embodies in its plan and decoration the changes in educational philosophy in the early years of the 20th century to meet the needs of very small children. The decorative scheme for the building, including the leadlight windows and exterior detailing, represent an attempt to train the children to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of their surroundings.
Malvern Primary School No.2586 is of architectural significance as the main school is a representative example of an 1880s school with additions in the 1890s. The classroom with the tower retains its hammerbeam ceiling and the exterior retains most of its original windows. It is an important example of a school building which retained its interior cohesion during expansion. Its impressive central corridor linking all rooms of the school demonstrates this. The 1907-08 Infants Building is a typical Edwardian building. The interior includes an example of a central hall with pressed metal vaulted ceiling and stylised flower design leadlight windows, a variation on the timber hammer beam ceiling found in the Moonee Ponds example. The hall contains a polished timber Honour Board commemorating those students who served in World War 1. The exterior of the building demonstrates particularly elaborate detailing, rarely seen on infant buildings. These include unusual scalloped edging above windows and openings, render banding and half-timbered gables.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO.2586 - HistoryContextual History:
The suburb of Malvern emerged from a semi-rural existence in the early twentieth century. Before European settlement, the area had been a favourite camping and hunting ground for the Aborigines. Here the Waiwurung tribe hunted kangaroos and wallabies, koala and possums, and several kinds of duck (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 3). John Gardiner, one of the first overlanders from New South Wales to the Port Phillip district, took up a cattle run in the Malvern district. Gardiner’s Creek ran through the property on which he settled in December 1836 and began building his home (J. B. Cooper, 1935. p.1).
In the late nineteenth century the land was subdivided, slowly increasing the local population. The land boom of the 1880s gave speculators the opportunity to invest in land in Malvern. A number of estates within Malvern were subdivided in the late 1880s and 1890s. Some of these were not built on until the new century. Most of the mansions built in the nineteenth century with extensive grounds had their land subdivided either before or after World War I (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 58). The Council restricted building in timber to twenty per cent in most wards (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 72). Complaints were made that this policy excluded small cottages and workmen’s tenements suitable for families on small incomes (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 68). The Closer Settlement Board purchased land at Tooronga and sold 216 allotments between 1911 and 1913 to buyers whose annual income did not exceed £220 or had capital of less than £350. A reservation for a State School was made but no school was built, leading to overcrowding at Tooronga Road School. In 1912 it was reported that 800 houses were being built in Malvern each year (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 69). A large number of houses were built in Malvern between the wars ; by 1931 there was vacant land only in the extreme east of the municipality (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 78).
Detached infants schools were provided by the Education Department from the early years of the twentieth century. Their construction reflects a greater attention to the particular needs of young children as a result of the work of educational theorists such as Froebel and Pestalozzi which was taken up by the newly -appointed Director of Education, Frank Tate. Tate was an advocate of healthier, more efficient school environments. It was important, he said, that a child’s sense of love, wonder and delight in what is fine is kept alive and strengthened. He held that the child should not be forced to adapt himself to an educational system but the system should be adapted to his individual needs.
The infants schools generally were designed with a cluster of classrooms arranged around a central assembly hall. Cloakrooms, lavatories, teacher’s room and storerooms were included in the plan. The hall was decorated with leadlight windows featuring colourful designs. Sometimes these were of Australian birds and animals or pastoral scenes.
The architect responsible for these infant schools was George Watson. George William Watson (1850-1915) was born and educated in England. He entered the Public Works Department Department soon after his arrival in Victoria in October 1872 . He was an Associate of the Royal Instiitute of British Architects and a member of the Society of Architects. He designed and carried out many large and important buildings amongst which were the Lunatic Asylum, Sunbury, the Public Buildings and Law Courts, Bendigo and the Female Prison, Pentridge. He was promoted to Chief Architect of the Public Works Department in 1910 and died on 26 July 1915.
History of Place:
The Primary School No. 2586 opened in a wooden building leased from the Church of England in 1884 opposite Caulfield racecourse. Until 1887 it was known as the Racecourse School. In 1885 it opened in a new brick building in Tooronga Road. This one-room building was too small almost immediately. The headmaster complained that there were “161 scholars there this morning where there is only room for 100.” Further space was leased at St. John’s to take the overflow. In 1894 Tooronga Road and Spring Road were merged but separated again in 1909.
Overcrowding was a cause for complaint at Spring Road and Tooronga Road in 1912. The local newspaper Malvern News reported that “There are many children in Malvern to-day who could only get into a State School with the aid of a gun or some other deadly weapon (Lynne Strahan. 1989. p. 98).
The building at Tooronga Road was extended in 1891-92 to include a bell tower, classroom and headmaster’s office. Later three more classrooms were added.
The infant school was constructed in 1907-08 at a cost of £3784.
In 1919 an Australian blackwood honour board was placed in the school hall to commemorate more than 500 past students who served in the First World War.
The school became a Central School in 1927. This meant it offered the first two years of a high school course and acted as a feeder school for the children to go on to a high school such as Melbourne High School.
During World War II some grades were transferred to Lloyd Street and third form Melbourne High School boys moved into the main building for about a year. After they left, the Malvern Girls’ School took over the southern section of the main building in 1946 . In 1961 a double-storey building was constructed for a library, cookery centre and music room. Malvern Girls High continued to use the building until the end of 1993 when it reverted to Tooronga Road Primary (Information supplied by the Tooronga Road Primary School. December 1997). At that time, Malvern Girls’ High School merged with the Richmond Girls High school to form the Melbourne Girls’ College.
A freestanding Domestic Arts Centre was built in 1945 as part of the Malvern Girls High School in the form of a single storey brick house although the interior was adapted for teaching purposes. The Centre was built at a time when women were being encouraged to return to domestic duties after World War II when they had been needed in the workforce. It was feared that returned servicemen would be unemployed if women remained in the workforce. The centre was built over filled air raid trenches which had been dug in the grounds in preparation for anticipated enemy attack in the early years of World War II.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO.2586 - Assessment Against Criteria
The historical importance, association with or relationship to Victoria's history of the place or object.
The Domestic Arts Centre is historically significant in that it reflected governmental encouragement of domestic arts and the traditional role of women after World War II. Although women had been needed in the workforce when men had been in the armed forces, if women stayed at home to bring up families, this would protect jobs for the returned servicemen. The collection of buildings on the site represents the mixed history of the school and its different periods of expansion and change. This includes the combined use of the school as a Primary School and High School between the years of 1946 and 1993. The Infant building is important as an example of an infant school, which embodies in its plan and decoration the changes in educational philosophy in the early years of the twentieth century to meet the needs of very small children.
The importance of a place or object in demonstrating rarity or uniqueness.
The place or object's potential to educate, illustrate or provide further scientific investigation in relation to Victoria's cultural heritage.
The importance of a place or object in exhibiting the principal characteristics or the representative nature of a place or object as part of a class or type of places or objects.
The Tooronga Road Mavern Primary School is important as a representative example of an 1880s school with additions in the 1890s. The 1907-08 infants school is a typical Edwardian building featuring red brick face brick exterior with a Marseilles terra cotta tiled roof, and terra cotta ridging. The interior has leadlight windows of a stylised flower design and a pressed metal vaulted ceiling in the central hall.
The importance of the place or object in exhibiting good design or aesthetic characteristics and/or in exhibiting a richness, diversity or unusual integration of features.
The exterior of the infant school demonstrates particularly elaborate detailing, rarely seen on infant buildings. These include unusual scalloped edging above windows and openings, render banding and half-timbered gables.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating or being associated with scientific or technical innovations or achievements.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating social or cultural associations.
Any other matter which the Council considers relevant to the determination of cultural heritage significance
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO.2586 - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions:
1. All alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.
2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible.
3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it.
4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
5. Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
* Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
* Removal of any extraneous items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials etc, and making good.
* Installation or repair of damp-proofing by either injection method or grouted pocket method.
* Regular garden maintenance.
* Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering systems.
* Repair, removal or replacement of existing pergolas and other garden structures.
* Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
* Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled joinery, doors, architraves, skirtings and decorative strapping.
* Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of curtain track, rods, blinds and other window dressings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted artworks.
* Refurbishment of bathrooms, toilets including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of kitchen benches and fixtures including sinks, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers etc and associated plumbing and wiring.
* Installation, removal or replacement of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and provided that the location of the heating unit is concealed from view.
* Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches, pull cords, push buttons or power outlets are retained in-situ. Note: if wiring original to the place was carried in timber conduits then the conduits should remain in-situ.
* Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
* Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors.