1890c City Baths


A photograph of the original Melbourne City Baths around 1890. This building was replaced by the current City Baths building in 1904. The baths are still at 420 Swanston Street and you can use the baths' facilities. Seems like the signwriter had a spelling problem.

By the 1850s the Yarra had become quite polluted and was the cause of an epidemic of typhoid fever, resulting in many deaths. The residents of Melbourne wanted a community bathing facility that was safe and open to everyone.

The Melbourne City Council opened the first Melbourne City Baths for public use at this location on 23rd December 1859, but after nearly 40 years of use they were closed in 1899 due to lack of maintenance of the building. The current Baths was opened in 1904.

All text © HotPress

Photographer unknown.

Notes from the State Library tell us that this photograph is "Looking towards City Baths in Swanston Street Melbourne, flight of steps leading up to front door, sign at steps listing prices of prices of showers and baths and public swimming pool. Little boy seated on newel post on left and a man seated on the right, a third man in standing on steps between them, two women standing at the top of the steps in front of the open door.."

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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