Wikimedia Commons celebrates its 10th anniversary, so congratulations and thank you to all those volunteers around the world for uploading information and photos!
In Fremantle we owe a special thank you to those volunteers who have been writing historic information of Fremantle and uploaded it to Wiki. Without them the Freopedia QR Code Project would not have been possible, and it will only grow with the support of people willing to do research, write articles, take and scan photos, and upload it all to Wikimedia.
22 million+ images make Wikimedia Commons the world’s largest freely licensed educational media repository.
More than 22 million media files have been uploaded by the Wikimedia volunteer community over the decade since Commons came into being. The Wikimedia Foundation have a dedicated community of creators and institutions who continue to share their images and other media so that the project has flourished and will continue to thrive.
In the past ten years, creators have contributed to Commons in a variety of ways, including the annual Wiki Loves Monuments contest, which is currently inviting submissions through the end of September. The Guinness Book of World Records named Wiki Loves Monuments the largest photo contest in the world, and it has inspired more 900,000 image uploads since 2010.
It is disappointing to read that Mount Lawley will be having the Beaufort Street Art Market the first Sunday of each month. I suggested an art market at Arthur Head about four years ago but received little support from the City of Fremantle.
A weekly art market would put the struggling Bathers Beach Art Precinct on the map, but I think that would only happen if there was private initiative for it.
By the way, COF, on the new Visit Fremantle website the BBAP is suddenly referred to as the Arthur Head Art Precinct. The last thing the artists up there need is confusing branding, so can we please stick with the right name Bathers Beach Art Precint.
Being a volunteer tour guide at the Fremantle Round House is a real pleasure to do. They are very positive and relaxing days where one meets people from all over Australia and the world.
Yesterday we had people from Canada, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Korea, England, Ireland, Malaysia, USA, Taiwan, Japan, Ukraine, Netherlands, China, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne, Broome, etc.
It is so good to hear all the compliments on how well Fremantle has preserved its heritage and how beautiful the west end buildings are, while at the same time getting the complaints that cities like Perth have neglected to do so.
Never underestimate the importance of history and our connection to it. It makes us grounded and gives us a sense of belonging.
If you want to volunteer a day at the Round House, contact the Fremantle Volunteer heritage Guides!
The article below by City of Fremantle Heritage Coordinator architect Alan Kelsall is a bit long for a blog post, but I believe it is important we understand why the City does certain ways of maintenance on heritage buildings, so here it is in full. Thank you Alan for the detailed explanations!
The building in question is on the corner of High and Henry streets and home to Brooker Furniture and the relocated New Edition bookshop.
Urgent conservation works were recently undertaken to the parapet and gables of the Union Stores building at the corner of High and Henry Streets in the West End.
The external walls of the Union Stores building were constructed using what are now described as traditional construction. As with nearly all 19th and early 20th century buildings in Fremantle, the conservation works in part consisted of doing what was necessary to allow the fabric of the building to perform as originally intended. In other words, removing the well-intentioned but damaging ‘repairs’ of the past 30 years that had been carried out using modern materials often hoping to reduce the need for regular maintenance.
The mistakes of the recent past stem from not recognising the benefits of allowing the walls of traditionally constructed buildings to breathe, which in turn led to the importance of the contribution made by traditional materials to this process being undervalued. Traditional materials, such as lime-based mortars and limewash, are permeable whereas modern building materials, such as acrylic paints, sealers and cement render and mortars are not. Traditional materials allow the walls to breathe and bring about the natural evaporation of any moisture and, importantly, cause the salts carried by the moisture to migrate slowly towards the surface and accumulate there.
The removal of the low permeability acrylic paint and cement render from the parapet has allowed this process to begin at the Union Stores building. As a result, a large amount of salt has come to the surface in a very short period. This is a good sign because previously the fine pores of the brickwork could not accommodate the increasing accumulation of salts and were eventually broken apart by the expansive forces of salt crystallisation. This led to the slow but severe deterioration of the bricks as can be seen in the photograph of the inside face of the parapet. .This deterioration is caused salt attack and it is the principal cause of decay in masonry buildings in Fremantle.
A further benefit of lime mortars and renders is that they are softer than the original masonry and tend to decay over time rather than the masonry. Hence the sacrificial decay of lime mortars and renders is a useful way of managing salt damp because it protects significant fabric and in the long term it usually proves to be the most cost effective way of caring for a building because it is cheaper and easier to re-point at regular intervals than it is to replace the brickwork.
Fremantle’s maritime environment means it will not be possible to completely cure the salt damp. Instead Council’s strategy is to adopt a maintenance approach to manage the problem by ensuring that the salt concentration occurs relatively close to the surface and, as with any maintenance programme, it will require periodic renewal of decayed fabric. Given the severity of the problems caused by the long-term build up of salts within the walls this is going to take time and further repairs before the walls are effectively desalinated to a point where the cycle of wetting and drying causes little decay of the fabric.
Good news for the east CBD of Fremantle with the fences going up, to start demolishing the buildings, at Point/Queen Adelaide Street for the construction of the Hilton Hotel on that site.
The development of that area of inner city Freo will be very welcome to retailers there who have been subjected to anti-social behaviour for many years.
With the refurbishment of Clancys and the restoration of the former Boys School/FTI one can envisage Princess May Park becoming a true green open space with seats, barbeques,public artworks, etc.
Tom Wearne and his partner Lindsey Matthews have opened a new cafe in Fremantle’s historic west end. Studio 37 Coffee Bar is at ground level of the PS Art Studios on the corner of Pakenham and Leake streets in a cavernous exhibition and events space that has got great ambience.
Tom is well-known in Freo as the former manager of the Moore&Moore cafe and barista at Chalkys. The coffee at STUDIO 37 is of course excellent because Tom really cares about his beans and does his research about blends, single origin, etc.
The cafe is following the new Melbourne trend away from wraps and paninnis to jaffles prepared by chef Ryan. Try the spaghetti bolognaise and cheddar one, or the banana, nutella and cinnamon, or tandoori chicken with Emmental and spinach.
There are also muffins, salted caramel and other sweets, salads and daily soups, so try it out for yourself. It’s just around the corner from High Street.
With Fremantle progressing to a bigger and more modern city, we often hear from those who want development at any cost and at any height that embracing our heritage is detrimental to the future of our city. I believe the exact opposite is true and want to shout it out loud.
HERITAGE IS NOT BAD FOR PROGRESS, IT TEACHES US THAT THE PRICE OF PROGRESS IS BEAUTY!
To those readers who don’t know the Fremantle/Cockburn area well, these photos are not of Beirut or Gaza or any other war zone, they are visual proof of how the Western Australian government disgracefully neglects our state’s heritage buildings.
The former South Fremantle Power Station at Coogee Beach has been unused and empty and allowed to rot away for many years. It is a clear example of demolition by neglect because concrete cancer, and salt and wind erosion are eating away the building rapidly.
The quite majestic building would make for a great performing arts and exhibition centre, a hotel, a convention centre, residential units, etc. and is a prime piece of real estate that should be sold and developed and restored to its former glory.
It never stops amazing me that governments can always find money for trivial monuments to celebrate the egos of politicians, but that there is no money to look after our historic buildings.
Who has to power to fine State Government over this neglect? No one I fear, so we have to put up with this eyesore that stands between major residential developments at South and Coogee beaches. It’s shameful!
Is Fremantle Notre Dame University the only university on the planet with its own beach? The UNDA Campus is only a minute-walk away from gorgeous Bathers Beach, so why would one not want to study there.
UNDA is in Fremantle’s stunning historic West End and occupies some of the sublime heritage buildings that they very sensitively adapted for educational use. There are great lecture theatres and libraries and a trillion cute little cafes dotted on the periphery of campus.
On Sunday August 17 Notre Dame will have their annual OPEN DAY that gives prospective students and their parents a chance to check out the UNDA facilities, meet academic staff and students, attend course info sessions and Campus tours. There will also be live music and free food on the day from 10 am to 3 pm.