Memorial Baths | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Memorial Baths

Item details

Name of item: Memorial Baths
Other name/s: Swimming pool and entrance pavilion
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Recreation and Entertainment
Category: Swimming Pool - inground built
Primary address: 179 Molesworth Street, Lismore, NSW 2480
Local govt. area: Lismore
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
179 Molesworth StreetLismoreLismore  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Impressive example of the work of distinguished local architect, FJ Board. The Classical Revival style was in keeping with the dedication as a war memorial, as well as contemporary attitudes to sport and healthy recreation (the Olympic ideal). A publicly funded leisure facility. One of many built throughout the state in the Inter-War years. Notable for construction as part of relief works undertaken in The Depression. A key element in the important civic grouping set in Spinks Park (see listing 40009). Immediate curtilage includes Memorial Park, a cultural site of social significance as a memorial to soldiers. Memorials were a significant theme in Lismore. Local significance.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: FJ Board
Construction years: 1928-1928
Physical description: Inter-War Classical Revival building comprising two storeys. Symmetrical facade with cement rendered walls and Doric pilasters. Front portico, designed with classical symmetry. Deep cornices and a stepped parapet concealing flat roof. Original timber entry doors. Elliptical arch to projecting front portico. Paired double-hung windows, with diagonal mullions in top half. Swimming baths at rear of structure. Memorial park in front of baths has six memorials commemorating 1914-18 War, 1939-45 War, and Vietnam War 1962-73, as well as the RAAF, RAN and RAI. Memorial gates at baths entrance from Molesworth Street. Stone gateposts and iron gates. Plantings in park include palm trees and roses.
Modifications and dates: Gate posts appear to have been altered. New parapet cappings. Windows re-glazed. Plaque removed. Building in poor condition, with cracks in masonry walling.


Historical notes: Building erected on site of first Lismore saleyards. According to Ryan (ed), a deputation approached the council in 1926 to build a new baths on the site. The existing baths in the river at the foot of Ballina Street had the problem of frequently disappearing in floods. The baths were to be a memorial to the Great War. The project was jointly funded by the Council, the Returned Sailors Club, and local citizens. Designed by local architect, FJ Board. Design based upon the Menin Gates at Ypres, Belgium (1923-26). The design went to tender on 18.6.27. Foundation stone laid 1.10.1927, and opened March 1928. Dressing rooms added 1929 (tender advertised 20.4.29). Original design single storey with a gymnasium on the flat roof, but during or shortly after construction second storey was added. Intended for use as soldiers' clubrooms. The building was designed in keeping with the recently constructed Municipal offices adjacent. Memorial Park landscaped and planted 1932-33, providing work for unemployed men during the Depression.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative locally. This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as socially representative locally.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

This site should be conserved. A conservation plan should be prepared prior to disturbance.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSchedule 2 08 Jun 01   
Local Environmental PlanLismore Local Environmental Plan 2012I6322 Feb 13   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     
Heritage study  01 Oct 95   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Lismore Heritage Study199420004Perumal Murphy Wu Pty LtdAW, VM, K Altenburg No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 0Notes provided by Lismore City Council
WrittenGray P1991The Work of Frederick Johnson Board, 1991
WrittenKass T0Lismore Heritage Study - Historical Context Report (Draft)
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1987National Trust listing form
WrittenRyan M (ed)0The Story of a North Coast City - Lismore

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1950040

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.