1. Themes
  2. A to Z

State Swimming Centre

The State Swimming Centre closed in 1997 after over a century of public swimming at the Batman Avenue site. The Melbourne Free Baths were established on the site in the 1880s. In 1935 the open-air Beaurepaire Pool (named after Olympic swimmer and lord mayor Sir Frank Beaurepaire) opened as Melbourne's first 50-metre Olympic-size pool. Champion swimmers such as Murray Rose and Dawn Fraser vied with the public for lane space. The pool remained open to all when a new pool was built for the 1956 Olympic Games. Left derelict from 1972, it reopened as the State Swimming Centre in 1980. Two world and many Commonwealth and Australian records were set in the pool, but concerns about safety and inadequate facilities led to its being superseded by the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Albert Park.

Jo Hook