Cultural Management Plan underway for Princes Park Grandstand

A Cultural Management Plan is being developed for the Princes Park Grandstand in Maryborough and residents are invited to get involved.

The Cultural Management Plan will provide Council with a detailed assessment of the Princes Park Grandstand to develop an affordable, staged plan of works to restore and conserve the historic recreation facility for the future.

In October, 2020 Council released a tender for a consultant to prepare a Cultural Management Plan for the project. This contract was awarded to Heritage Architect Amanda Jean.

This work has commenced and includes Historian Charles Fahey from La Trobe University who is currently undertaking a historical survey of the construction of the Grandstand and its part in Maryborough public life.

A community information sharing session will be held on Thursday 1 April, 3.30 to 6pm at the Princes Park Grandstand. Community members are encouraged to bring along any pictures of the reserve and share memories and use of the reserve.

Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Ward Cr Geoff Lovett said the project reflects Council’s commitment to preserving our local heritage buildings and assets.

“The Cultural Management Plan will provide us with the guidance necessary for the conservation and heritage management of the grandstand so that we can preserve this wonderful community facility for future generations to come.

“I know so many local residents will have a story or memory to share of their experience with one of Maryborough’s most iconic landmarks – whether you played sport, watched a family member compete or attended an event.

“It will be just fascinating to bring all of these stories and recollections together as part of this project so if you can, I encourage you to head along to the information sharing session next week and get involved in this important project.”

Heritage Architect Amanda Jean thanked the Midlands Historical Society for their role in the project to date.

“The Midlands Historical Society have played a key role in the project thus far and we thank them for sharing their collection with us.

“They have collected a vast resource of historical, social and cultural information about the Grandstand.

“We are excited to share this visual archive with our community over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the CMP.”

Background:

The Princes Park Cultural Management Plan was recommended in 2002 as part of the Princes Park Conservational Analysis and Master Plan.

The Princes Park Grandstand is listed by the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR), as a heritage place (H1880) and the heritage management of the place is administered under the Victorian Heritage Act 2017. The site is also covered by the Heritage Overlay HO166 Princes Park.

The 1895 grandstand in Princes Park is of architectural significance as an important design of the long established and notable architectural firm, Thomas Watts and Sons.

The grandstand uses extensive turned wood decoration and is an early example of all timber decoration that became more widespread in late Victorian and the Edwardian period.

The Grandstand is the only example of this type of building by Thomas Watts and Sons, and was modelled on the 1886 South Melbourne grandstand designed by William Elliot Wells which was destroyed by fire in 1926 and a similar grandstand at Victoria Park, Collingwood which was demolished in 1966.

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