Ocean Baths | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Ocean Baths

Item details

Name of item: Ocean Baths
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Community Facilities
Category: Other - Community Facilities
Primary address: 30 Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle East, NSW 2300
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
30 Shortland EsplanadeNewcastle EastNewcastle  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Newcastle Ocean Baths are an icon for the City of Newcastle - standing alone on a wave cut rock platform dominating the city's coastline. The Art Deco - stripped classical bathing paviliion sets an appropriate stage for the pursuit of bathing and swimming; in a city uniquely nestled between harbour and sea. The building and the baths are significant for their demonstration of the values placed on recreational bathing by the citizens of Newcastle. It is believed to be the only example of a bathing pavilion in the stripped classical style.
Date significance updated: 19 Mar 12
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: Castleden (1911); Pitt & Merewether Architects (remodelled 1922)
Construction years: 1911-1927
Physical description: The building is Federation and Art Deco in character, with a central tower flanked by two symmetrical pavilion facades, behind which sit the baths. The pool sits on a wave cut rock platform.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Council introduced Cathodic protection in the early 2000's as a means of reversing saltwater penetration.


Historical notes: Council adopted plans by the City Engineer LB Blackwell and tenders were called in July 1911. In 1922, FG Castelden Architect was engaged by the Council to redesign Blackwell's original design for the pavilion building. The pavillion was opened in 1922. In 1927, the pavilion was re-modelled by Pitt & Merewether Architects, which removed the Edwardian style and replaced it with a stripped classical fa├žade. When the pavilion was opened in 1922, the cost of building the pavilion had blown out to 16,400 pounds.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities social institutions-


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I48915 Jun 12 64 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Newcastle Heritage Study1990252Unknown  Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2170252
File number: 252

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