Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on October 17, 2014

Miracles do happen, God does exist and the City of Fremantle listens to the concerns of residents. I’ve got proof off it!

Today a herd of wheelie bins were put up around the Fremantle Round House and yesterday the cleaning buggy actually visited Arthur Head and drove along the beach path at Bathers Beach. Hallelujah!

It now needs to be seen if we end up with four overflowing bins at the Round House or if they will be emptied daily.

Thanks for listening COF. Have a happy clean weekend!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 17, 2014

old and new

Whenever I walk up to Arthur Head to start my day as volunteer guide at the Round House I stop to look at the old buildings along Fleet Street with the Maritime Museum behind them. I like the juxtaposition of the old buildings with the new modern one. For me they somehow compliment each other, but that could well just be my very strange taste. I also like to eat soft boiled eggs with fruit bread, so hey, taste is a very personal thing. ; > )

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, fremantle by freoview on October 16, 2014

Wirpanda Foundation

It was really nice to have former Fremantle Dockers AFL player Troy Cook at the Fremantle Round House all day today, where he was greeting the teams who participated in the Wirrpanda Foundation Amazing Race.

Organisations such as the Wirrpanda and Clontarf foundations are invaluable in their support for Aboriginal youth, so it was a delight to be of some assistance to the teams and answer their questions about the importance the Round House has in Nyoongar history. Unfortunately it is a rather sad one that also relates to the atrocious Rottnest Island Quod indigenous prison where nearly 400 Aboriginal men died.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 2, 2014

Round House 'aerial'

Already had enough of school holidays, you poor suffering parents and grandparents? Do I have a solution for you!!

Bring them all to the Fremantle Round House today and I’ll lock them up in the stocks for you. ; >)

We are open from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm so pop in and say G’day, ring the curfew bell, wander through the Whalers Tunnel to Bathers Beach, visit the art outlets and Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur Head, and eat fish&chips at the Fishing Boat Harbour.

The Fremantle Round House is the oldest-first- public building in Western Australia. The first jail built by the very first British settlers, not convicts. It is run by the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides and is open every day of the week. Entry by donation.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 26, 2014

The Fremantle Network get together at Clancys on Thursday was in two parts. The second part was about a great social housing project at 100 Hampton Road and I will do a separate article on it later, as I want to go and take some photos first.

The first talk was by Pete Adams of the Yolk Property Group, who will be building the short-term tourist accommodation at 50 Pakenham Street, and I can’t let him get away with silly generalisations.

Mr Adams questioned why Fremantle was so obsessed with no height and claimed town planning in Freo had been dominated by the vocal minority.

Fremantle is only obsessed with height in inappropriate locations, Pete Adams. If you want to build in the West End you know before you even purchase a property that there is a four-storey limit, so why try to get more height? Pretty silly really, don’t you think? Blaming that on a vocal anti-height minority group is pretty immature. If you want more height why not develop a bit further East at Queen Victoria or Beach Street for example.

On your website you claim that the Yolk Property Group “understand the Western Australian and Victorian lifestyle” Really?! I don’t think that the lifestyle in Fremantle is anything like the one in Melbourne.

You also claim that “before we design a standout development we look at how we can blend in. We get our design cues from the historic language of the location.”

Sorry, Peter Adams but that is just PR spin, because the building you designed for 50 Pakenham Street in the historic West End pays little reference and homage to the heritage area. It is a very mediocre building.

Inform yourself, Pete Adams, and read the letters to the editors of newspapers from all over Perth, where people complain about out of character buildings in older suburbs, and start paying a bit more respect, instead of blaming planning issues on those of us who are pasionate about the lifestyle and uniqueness of Fremantle. Hot air and empty words on your website should be replaced by great design and sensitivity for the location. Dazzle us with facts and great buildings, instead of hyperbole.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, fremantle by freoview on September 21, 2014

It is promising to read in the Sunday Times today that the Western Australian Planning Commission is considering changing the laws on high-density buildings. This is the result of many local governments and communities complaining that out of character dwellings are being erected in older suburbs like Fremantle.

The WAPC considerations would see a minimum number of car bays per home, which is contrary to the no car bays at all at some new residential and commercial buildings and hotels the City of Fremantle wants.

There would also be a limit on the number of units that can be built in high-density buildings if the WAPC changes go ahead.

It sounds like good common sense to me. The unique character of the older suburbs needs to be protected because they are the main reference to our past and part of our history.



Posted in architecture, fremantle by freoview on September 19, 2014

It is fantastic to see the positive changes at the Fremantle Bathers Beach House, formerly the Fishermen’s Coop building. The drab building that once housed a McDonalds, Dome, Wagamama an The Sicilian is going to be Freo’s White House at historic Bathers Beach, with great alfresco areas and a huge first floor deck that overlooks the Indian Ocean.

The Bathers Beach House will be taken over by a 600 patron tavern, a 250 patron small bar and the Sweetlips fish&chips shop is also refurbished and will also have a liquor license.

Builders Psaros are doing an excellent job on the exterior and the new venue should open by mid November.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, fremantle, heritage by freoview on September 11, 2014

Something Fremantle Councillor Josh Wilson said at the special council meeting last night made me think about when does heritage start and when does it stop, and does it?

When does a modern building become heritage, what time frame do we allow for that? Does a building need to be off a certain age before it reaches heritage statue? For example, the Fremantle Maritime Museum is a heritage building for me, because it is iconic and of architectural excellence, but has it been acknowledged and listed as that yet?

How beautiful does a building have to be before acquiring the heritage stamp? Look at the Warders, Pilot’s, and Married Quarter cottages in Freo. They are not exactly building of great visual delight and high-standard architecture, but they are heritage listed because of their age and historic significance.

So if blandness and mediocre design are not an impediment to receive heritage status, why are not all old buildings perceived to have heritage significance. Should not any building over, let’s say, 100 years-old be considered a heritage building, no matter how ugly it is.

I was contemplating that when I saw footage of residential streetscapes of workers cottages in England, not dissimilar to the streetscapes of the suburb in Hague in the Netherlands, I was brought up in. They have real appeal in their utter plainness and they have been there for a very long time, and are an important reminder of how people lived after WW II, and even now they are still the homes of many working class or poor families. Are they heritage or just boring design of the 50s?

Could the modern display homes, that are like an IKEA catalogue for uninspiring buildings, become heritage of the future, because there are so many of these boring buildings, so that they need to be recognised as having heritage significance because they show the lifestyle of a certain era?

I find it fascinating to think about these things, so what do you think?

Roel Loopers




Posted in architecture, fremantle by freoview on September 10, 2014

Maybe the full moon is to blame, but there is a sadness and bewilderment in me that we in Fremantle still have to keep fighting to preserve heritage and character in our city. It should be a given for developers and our Councillors that the preservation of Fremantle’s uniqueness is not something that will be compromised, no matter how good a deal we are being promised by developers.

Let me make it absolutely clear that I am not against change, progress and new development. In fact I would really love to see many new outstanding modern buildings in the CBD, which enhance and compliment the beauty of our city and heritage buildings, and I am definitely not talking about mock-heritage, but stand-alone iconic modern architecture.

But why, whenever new development is proposed, does the 44 year-old Fremantle Society still have to step in, address Council, write submissions, talk to Elected Members and try to preserve what should not even be debatable. Heritage preservation should not be an issue, it should be the norm that has no exceptions, a local policy set in concrete that won’t budge for big money and even bigger promises.

It should not be up to local community groups like the Society, Fremantle Inner City Residents Association, Ratepayers and Residents Association, and precinct groups, to constantly having to remind Council that we are not willing to compromise our past and heritage, and that is not because we are against change, but simply because we believe change can happen in those areas where it does not compromise heritage.

The owners of Atwell Arcade for example also own the dreadful Target and Gloria Jeans buildings just east of Kings Square, so why do they see the need to compromise the Atwell Arcade’s heritage when they could have what they want by building a new modern building on the Target site, that would be the neighbour of the planned new hotel just down the road in Adelaide Street.

I am a bit tired of constantly having to speak negatively about new development, because the proposals are inappropriate for Fremantle. I would so much like to stand up in Council Chambers and tell everyone how much I love a new amazingly designed new building for our city, but sadly we only seem to be getting mediocrity instead of greatness, and blandness instead of visual delight.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 7, 2014

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.


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