Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 15, 2019


manning 1


The development of the heritage Manning building in Fremantle by Silverleaf Investments is substantial and will create a new attraction in the CBD.

A new tavern, micro brewery, retail outlets, distillery and offices will be created at the building that runs the entire length of the High Street mall.

I took the photos above on Sunday.

Roel Loopers



High 1


Fremantle High Street is looking a lot better now that all the yellow artwork foil has been removed and many of the facades repainted. There is only one building left with some yellow on it at No 10 and that belongs to renowned architect Michael Patroni who wants to remove all the paint I have been told and return the historic building to its former glory of tuck pointed brick.

I hear that several owners have started to ask for quotes to also get their buildings along High Street painted, so that is a pretty good outcome of what was an expensive debacle after the removal of the stunning Felice Varini artwork proved to be far more complicated than anticipated.

Roel Loopers


Henty ad


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 2, 2019




We often hear the claims that Fremantle is a European city, but it sounds like we are definitely not Swiss, if the observation of one of Freo’s View’s regular readers is correct.

My mate Clayton alerted me to the fact that the Townhall chimes are not in sync with the clock, so that is a bit awkward. Maybe the vibrations of the development work below have affected the synchronisation?

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 2, 2019




One has to wonder why the City of Fremantle approved the inappropriate modern veranda-like structure on top of the heritage-listed Dalgety building in Cliff Street.

I really like the Slavin Architects designed modern building next to the historic building that is owned and occupied by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, but the rooftop addition is disrespectful to the heritage of the building and the West End of Fremantle. It looks awful from Phillimore Street.

Just want to make it clear that Slavin Architects did the original design but were not involved with the rooftop addition!

Roel Loopers




It is important for Fremantle that stronger protections for Western Australia’s heritage places will come into effect on July 1, 2019, with the gazettal of the new Heritage Act 2018 and Heritage Regulations 2019 taking place today (June 27).

The new legislation replaces the outdated Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990, aligning WA with other States by ensuring better protections for important heritage places, particularly those left to ‘demolition by neglect’.

Key changes include:

  • A streamlined process for entering a place in the State Register of Heritage Places;
  • Clarity for owners wishing to develop their heritage places;
  • Better protection for heritage places at risk from ‘demolition by neglect’;
  • Increased transparency by publishing the Heritage Council’s advice to the Minister for Heritage on the inclusion of a place in the State Register; and
  • Time limits on certain decisions to provide certainty for decision-makers, industry and the community. 

The Heritage Council provides technical and professional assistance, and promotes public awareness and knowledge in relation to the State’s cultural heritage.

For a copy of the new Act and regulations, visit


Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on June 24, 2019


Manning 2

Manning 1


Work on the Manning Building redevelopment in the Fremantle inner city is progressing well with two large metal frames installed at the back of it in Paddy Troy Lane.

The Silverleaf Investments development will see a new tavern, micro brewery and distillery being added to the heritage building and hopefully help with the Fremantle Council’s efforts of  revitalising the CBD.

Roel Loopers






It is an outrage that one of Fremantle’s most significant tourist destinations, the historic Roundhouse, is closed again today on Sunday, which is one of the busiest days of the week.

The weather is perfectly alright with some very dark clouds around but it is pleasantly warm and there are a lot of people wandering the streets.

The oldest public building in Western Australia was also closed last week on Friday, Saturday and Monday and that is not acceptable at all.

The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides who manage the Roundhouse sent a statement to the Fremantle Herald that before every winter an assessment is made, but that is nonsense of Trumpian proportions.

Fact is that traditionally the Roundhouse was only closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day and open to the public every other day of the year. If the weather is too inclement the team on the day might decide to close an hour or so early, but never have volunteer guides turned up and decided not to open this historic jail at all.

It is not good enough and it is reassuring to know that the City of Fremantle  is finally showing some interest to manage the tourist destination more professionally.

The unscheduled closures could well jeopardise the grant application with Lotterywest for new interpretive displays in the Roundhouse, which is a superb project just waiting for funding.

When is the State Government going to show interest in historically significant Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse?

Roel Loopers






The closure of the Fremantle Roundhouse today is the third day out of four the very popular tourist attraction has been closed to the public. It was closed on Friday and Saturday, supposedly due to bad weather, although the weather was in no way extreme and intolerable, and today the sign states that WA’s oldest public building is closed  due to a shortage of volunteers.

Fact is that the current president and some committee members of the volunteer group have been procrastinating instead of tackling the major issues of funding and volunteers.

I was a volunteer at the Roundhouse for nine years and loved talking with tourists from all over the world, but I resigned two weeks ago after a rude email from the president in reply to my email suggestions for improvements and changes. I was told that my emails to committee were a waste of energy and he reminded me I was not on committee, indicating I should just shut up.

It is now time for the City of Fremantle to immediately take over the management of the Roundhouse as this significant building has to be open to the public.  I am happy to get involved again under new more progressive and committed management.

A school group that arrived at 1.30pm today stood in front of the closed doors and that is very disappointing.

Roel Loopers




It is a real worry that the Fremantle Roundhouse is closed today, and I was told it was closed most of yesterday as well.

A sign on the door says it is closed due to bad weather, but a few showers have never forced the Roundhouse volunteers to close all day in the nine years I worked there.

Fremantle Council now needs to take urgent action because it is not acceptable that the oldest public building in WA and one of Fremantle’s most significant tourist attractions is now randomly closed, presumably because of lack of volunteers.

In the nine years I was on duty only on the worst winter days did we close an hour early at 2.30pm, but all day closure only ever happened on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

I hear that at committee level of the volunteers it has been suggested they might have to wind up and hand the management of the building back to the City, but what then when there is no contingency plan in place?  Even if they staff the Roundhouse with volunteers from the Visitor Centre they would still need some of the current volunteers who have the license to fire the 1pm cannon.

Both Fremantle Council and the Roundhouse committee are to blame for not having been pro-active enough in trying to get new volunteers and annual funding. With enough State, City and Federal funding Roundhouse guides could get paid and the tourist attraction would be on the same level as Fremantle Prison, the Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Museum, which all receive government funding.

The Roundhouse is very significant to Fremantle’s  and Western Australia’s history and the City can’t just sit back and let it close due to procrastination and lack of vision.

Roel Loopers




Heritage card

From the Town of East Fremantle: We recently launched a new Heritage Trail map with watercolour depictions of the local architecture around town.

You can pick up a Z-CARD from Town Hall or text the word ‘Heritage’ to 0475 111 222 for a digital copy.

Thanks to the team at Z-Card PocketMedia Solutions for working with us on this project!

This should inspire the City of Fremantle to do something similar. The Freopedia QR codes on building which were started by the Fremantle Society were unfortunately not continued and the East Freo smartphone Z-Card is an even better idea, so what about it This Is Fremantle?

Roel Loopers


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