Fountain has a new lease of life

Sharon Kemp | Bendigo Weekly | 01-Dec-2017

Council's Craig Lloyd and Debbie Wood at the refurbished fountain. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

A $350,000 facelift sounds expensive, but not when it is preserving a priceless fountain that carries a replacement value of $2.8 million

 Alexandra Fountion that graces Charing Cross could never be replaced but it needs to be maintained in order to hold that value.

The results of maintenance work that saw the fountain hidden from view behind scaffolding for five months, were unveiled this week.

City of Greater Bendigo presentation and assets director Craig Lloyd said it was time the fountain got some attention, given the last overhaul was 16 years ago.

Refurbishment included the restoration of the fountain’s cast balustrade and masonry, repairs, conservation and painting of the statues and render as well as significant plumbing and electrical upgrades. 

“The restoration was a large task requiring in some cases, quite detailed restoration especially of the statues and ornate pieces as expected when dealing with heritage structures,” Mr Lloyd said.

Other than the Exhibition Fountain, built in 1880 in the Melbourne’s Carlton Gardens, Bendigo’s Alexandra Fountain is the largest and most ornate municipal fountain in Victoria, which also makes it valuable.

Nowadays, it spurts potable water but initially it was gravity fed from a dam at the top of View Street.


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