60 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy (Fitzroy Baths)

This is the location of the Fitzroy community’s lovely outdoor pool, brilliant all year round. I haven’t done a lot of research on Fitzroy Baths (now Yarra Leisure) yet, but this is some information from a few sources.

In 1854, the land in this part of Fitzroy had been marked for subdivision into street blocks. At the time, all of the area inside the borders of Smith St, Argyle St, Brunswick St and Reilly St (Now Alexandra Pde) was a dotted set of potential roads. The cross roads were all commenced, with Napier, George and Gore coming off Victoria Pde and Cecil, Westgarth, Leicester and Rose extending from Nicholson St (most ending at Young St). At the time the area was known as Collingwood. (Plan of Melbourne 1854)

I have included the images below as they appear in the North Fitzroy Conservation Study, but I will replace when I can get a better copy of these, but they highlight in 1854-1888 the land was intended for use for housing. Given the block was clearly subdivided in 1876, I am not yet sure how it came to be given back to the city of Fitzroy to become the public baths.

Section of the Plan of Melbourne 1854

The street on the left is Young and on the right is Napier St. This was initially set for housing in 1876. Plan of subdivision of part of section 85 Parish of Jika Jika Fitzroy 1876. State Library

Plan of Melbourne and Suburbs 1888 by A.C. Allan and Tuxen, Surveyors.

The Baths were opened on 21 October 1908, they were built by the Fitzroy Council at a cost of 9,000 pounds.

Opening of the Fitzroy Municipal Baths – opened by Councillor F.R. Chapman, Mayor – Entrance – library owns image (image on public access)
Opening of the Fitzroy Baths. 1908 – Image held by Fitzroy Library
Diving platform and sliding board in the ladies baths. c.1908. Held by Fitzroy Library
Image held by Fitzroy Library. The Fitzroy Swimming Pool is located at Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy. 21 October 1908
Top: Start of the 100 yards championship and below the Squadron Handicap and in the middle J E Wickham, winner of the 100 Yards championship – Photos from the Inter-State Swimming Championships (Weekly Times, 1 March 1913)
View from Cecil and Young St in the early 70s – Committee for Urban Action (between 1970-1974) – Identifier CUAFY2/10 – State Library
Yarra Leisure photo of the pool and the apartments on Cecil St in the background (from Yarra Leisure website)

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