|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (May 2008)|
Johnstone Park is a landscaped garden in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It is bounded by Railway Terrace, Gheringhap Street, Little Malop Street, Fenwick Street, and Mercer Street. The park is surrounded by civic buildings including the Geelong Town Hall, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Library, Geelong Law Courts, and the Geelong Railway Station. A war memorial and bandstand feature in the centre of the park.
The area occupied by Johnstone Park was originally known as Western Gully, a watercourse that drained towards Corio Bay. In 1849 a dam was built at the downstream end of the gully, near the present Gheringhap Street roundabout. The dam was fenced off in 1851 after at least one person and several horses drowned. The area was made into a park in March 1872, named after former Geelong mayor Robert De Bruce Johnstone. The park stretched from Gheringhap Street to Latrobe Terrace. In December that year the first band concert was held by the Geelong Artillery Corps band. An octagonal wooden bandstand was erected in the park during November 1873. The Belcher Fountain was installed adjacent to the park in 1874, in the middle of the intersection of Gheringhap Street, Malop Street and Mercer Street. The fountain was a gift to the City of Geelong from former Mayor George Frederick Belcher.
The park was divided in 1872 when the Geelong railway was extended south to Winchelsea in 1876. A footbridge was provided across the railway line. Johnstone Park was further reduced in size in 1887, when the Gordon Technical College was built on western part of the park across Fenwick Street.
1915 saw the Geelong Art Gallery built on the Little Malop Street boundary of the park. In 1926 it was complemented by a war memorial to commemorate the local lives lost in World War I, which comprised a Peace Memorial beside the gallery and an ornamental gateway at Railway Terrace entrance to the park. A 1919 bandstand in the centre of the park is located on the axis of the Peace Memorial building and the gateway. The bandstand is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The Belcher Fountain was relocated to Johnstone Park in 1912 because it was in the way of the tram tracks being installed for the introduction of electric trams in Geelong. The fountain was moved back to its original position in 1956 when the tram system closed. It was removed in 2006 to be restored and was re-installed close to its original location in 2008.
Sculpture marking the formation of Apex Clubs of Australia in Geelong in 1931
- Peter Begg (1990). Geelong - The First 150 Years. Globe Press. ISBN