News that the tender for the redevelopment of the City of Fremantle Point Street car park will be signed next week, open up very good opportunities for the City to insist on outstanding architectural design and building quality, not just complying with a five star green rating. If council allows a mediocre building to be erected on the site adjacent to historic Princess May Park for the sake to get quick development done, it will lose all credibility. I for one look forward to getting rid of the ugly car park and revitalisation of Princess May Park.
Harbour Theatre have been told they still got another year at the former cinema building and that is probably a realistic time to draw up plans for the area.
With the City of Fremantle considering turning the heritage Pilot’s Cottages at Arthur Head into Aboriginal art studios, I have been contemplating if there are not better solutions than the tokenism of handing over four small houses to our Noongar friends, that are not suited to be substantial art spaces, so here my suggestions to the city.
The former Port Cineaste building on Adelaide Street offers the opportunity to create a real art centre, similar to Mangkaja in Fitzroy Crossing, Mowanjum near Derby and the art centre at Warmun. A community centre that offers artist studios and a well managed retail outlet that would create income for the artists.
The site at Princess May Park is popular with Aboriginals, who frequent it daily. The building is substantial and offers the opportunity to open it up to the park with an al fresco cafe and would even allow for a small amphitheatre in the park for story telling and music performances.
With the Film and Television Institute and Clancys already there this could become a great art hub for the city. The potential is huge with the expected massive developments on Queen Victoria Street just East of it, which would mean a steady flow of pedestrians going past the art centre. Adelaide Street already is one of the major thoroughfares for people coming from the Northern and Eastern suburbs.
The site I propose is opposite the Adelaide Plaza shopping centre and the Basilica, and has plenty of parking with many car bays in Cantonment Street and Beach Street, and also in the Point Street car park, until that is being developed.
It might well be that the State Government could financially support such proposal.
P.S. While I presently occupy one of the Pilot’s Cottages as caretaker for the Fremantle Society, I expressed in an email to the Mayor and councilors last week that I can see a bigger picture for Arthur Head and would never stand in the way of it for selfish reasons.
I knew one day my double Dutch writing to newspapers would wake up people, so I am delighted to read in the Fremantle Herald that the Woonerf concept is going to be tried in Fremantle. The idea is to set up virtual living areas, like sofas, chairs, tables, etc. in the middle of the cappuccino strip, that will automatically slow traffic down and creates a better quality of sharing the street between pedestrians and cars. Trials have been very successful in Holland, Germany, Canada, the UK and also in Victoria.
# More good news comes today that the Pricess May Park will be handed over to the City of Fremantle. This will hopefully also mean a new long lease for the very family friendly Clancys Fish Pub.
# Proposed new development at the back of the old synagogue near the markets need to be scrutinised in detail though, so show us the plans please!
# I was told a worrying development yesterday, about regular break-ins at the Royal George hotel, where thieves steal the copper piping, including gas pipes, which poses a real fire threat to the old building and historic archives stored there.
WOONERF. Woon means living in the Dutch language, and erf is traditionally a forecourt where the family gathers on a farm (boerderij).