I took this reflection photo of the Scots Presbyterian Church at Norfolk Street in a window of the old Fremantle Oval this morning.
The Dockers have left Freo Oval for Cockburn, so good riddance to them.
The church was designed by architects Talbot Hobbs and the foundation stone was laid by John Forres on March 26, 1890. The church officially opened seven months later on November 26, 1890.
One of the things I very much enjoy is showing people around Fremantle and a few of the hidden treasures they might not otherwise discover, so today I spent two hours with the lovely Italian Elisabetta and Matilda.
Matilda lives in Freo and runs the cute fashion boutique and Birkenstock outlet Creato a Mano at Marine Parade and her husband Roberto runs the equally cute Galleria D’Arte West End just a few metres awy, so go and check them out!
Elisabetta though lives in beautiful Rome, so hence the need for a guided tour.
The Roundhouse and Arthur Head had to be the starting point and soon we walked into Bruce from Replants who is setting up a tree installation on Bathers Beach for the Sculpture@Bathers show which starts on the 24th of this month.
The former long jetty and ocean pool and the mortuary and kerosine store were clearly a must and gave me the opportunity to talk about the horrendous Rottnest Island indigenous Quod prison.
From there we wandered into Notre Dame University territory. We had a few sneak peeks inside some of the gorgeous adaptive reuse heritage buildings, the beautiful library and also the stunning Aboriginal art collection of UNDA. I recommend anyone to take a guided tour of the campus on Friday morning which UNDA organises. Contact them to book it!
The flat where FBI boss J Edgar Hoover lived, which is now part of Kerry Hill architects in Mouat Street, is also largely unknown. Kerry Hill by the way designed the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square.
I showed my guests the PS Art Space and studios upstairs, the former Police Station at Victoria Quay and the historic artworks inside B Shed, even the toilets, and wandered around the Maritime Museum under the watchful eyes of a lone Nankeen heron.
The old submarine, the connection to Gallipoli and the migrant wall were a talking point for us that connected Freo to Europe.
From there past the J Shed art studios and back through the Whalers Tunnel for a nice iced coffee at my friends at Chalkys in the former Trams Building.
What is there not to love about Freo. So happy I live here!
North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin has written an excellent Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today about the quality of architecture in Fremantle’s heritage West End.
Slavin Architects designed the stunning heritage of the future Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street that connects to the old Wilhelmsen building on the corner of Phillimore Street.
Slavin writes that the proposed five-storey Notre Dame University building for the corner of High and Cliff streets needs a rethink, as I have suggested a few times on Freo’s View.
He says that “A clear and present danger is that the West End will become characterised by the lowest common denominator architecture” and that the historic area should not be “dumbed down to a forgettable architecture form that sucks the essence out of its neighbourhood.” Hear, hear!!
Murray Slavin states that it is time to live up to community expectations with a clear understanding of Fremantle’s social and physical context.
“Many buildings appearing in the West End could be from any Australian city” and show little respect for the historic buildings around them, the North Freo architect writes.
Make sure to get a copy of the Freo Chook and read the entire article and many other good ones in this week’s issue.
The deadline for submissions against the in my opinion totally inappropriate building proposal by Notre Dame is February 13, so email your opposition to it to the City of Fremantle NOW. Go to the CoF website for a submission form!
The WA Heritage Awards 2017 finalists were announced today and Fremantle is well represented.
The Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill, the Heirloom by Match of the Dalgety woolstores, Hillcrest in North Fremantle, the Mediterranean Shipping Company Wilhelmsen House at Cliff Street, and just south of Freo the former Coogee hotel and post office have also been nominated.
Well done to all and may the best adaptive reuse of a heritage-listed building win!
Tomorrow, Saturday January 28 will be a very special community day in Fremantle that will celebrate our history and multiculturalism.
It starts of at 9.30 am at Arthur Head with a significant smoking ceremony by Nyoongar elders.
Two four hundred-year-old boomerangs from the South West will fly again from the hands of youngsters.
Aboriginal dancers and representatives will conduct smoking ceremonies in three locations – in the Round House, in front of the Round House and in the Bathers’ Beach area. Small ceremonial fires held within metal dishes will be positioned in three locations and manned by representatives.
The ceremonies will be delivered in unified sequence across the three locations with the main ceremonial fire inside the Round House and a Ceremonial Progression of Aboriginal and General Community witnesses and participants together with the greater community led by Aboriginal elders out onto Bathers Beach.
Burning of Balga trees will take place on the grassed area in front of J Shed at 6.00pm.
And from 2 pm on the One Day In Freo event is at the Esplanade with family entertainment and from 4 pm on the great John Butler, Mama Kin and Dan Sultan will perform live from 4 pm.
It’s going to be a fantastic day to celebrate our diversity and sense of community and the huge contribution everyone has made to make Fremantle the very special and unique place it is.
Fremantle Prison will be unlocked tomorrow, Tuesday January 24 from 2-6 pm to celebrate 25 years of being open to the public.
Get a FREE sneak peek inside the World Heritage listed old gaol that was built by convicts when the Swan River Colony became a penal colony for England in 1850.
Explore the large main cell block, check out the art exhibition and have a cold drink in the cafe.
Fremantle’s West End is buzzing with rumours that Sunset Events will propose a scaled-down version of the rejected tavern and outdoor music venue at J Shed on Bathers Beach. The music events organiser has a 25-year-lease for the number one studio there.
The proposal for the venue was rejected by the City of Fremantle, the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal, so only heaven knows why the SE directors are still trying for the same, but a bit smaller.
From my memory SAT and the WAPC rejected the proposal because a tavern and live music venue were deemed inappropriate for the A Class Reserve in one of our state’s most historic areas. The number of patrons was not the issue for the two state bodies, but a licensed pub and music venue was.
I have no doubt that should Sunset Events put a scaled-down proposal forward it will again be opposed by Fremantle community groups and end up again at WAPC and SAT. Common sense tells me that these bodies will not change their ruling just because Sunset Events is reducing the number of patrons.
A small bar/cafe and art gallery would be nice there, but anything bigger is not on.
There are new art studios in Fremantle in the old police station in Henderson Street. Some already rented by artists who will have to leave Many 6160 at Kings Square once the development of the civic square starts mid year.
TRIPLE ZERO is not an emergency but the creative name of the new art complex that is owned by Fremantle development company Silverleaf, which bought the Henderson Street courthouse and police complex last year.
The building proposal for a five-storey tourist accommodation at 18-22 Adelaide Street at Fremantle’s Kings Square was unanimously deferred by the City of Fremantle Planning Commission tonight.
Public speakers objected to the proposal because of inappropriate height, heritage concerns and deemed it detrimental to adjoining properties and the public amenity.
It was pointed out also hat approving this inappropriate building would set a precedent for other property owners in the area.
Occupants of units at the Cantonment Street Dodson’s building behind the proposed development claimed it would negatively affect their lifestyle, sun light and air flow into their building and were also concerned about the staircase being too close to their living areas which would result in noise issues.
Committee chair Jon Strachan said he believed the proposal had not met the requirements to allow for discretionary additional heights and it would not create the best heritage outcomes.
Councillors Hannah Fitzhardinge and David Coggin expressed that a message needed to be sent to developers that we want high quality buildings in the inner city, especially at historic Kings Square, while professor Geoffrey Bolton said the CoF Design Advisory Committee were concerned about the impact on the public realm.
Councillor Jeff McDonald said we needed to respect what we already have at Kings Square and a five storey spike would impact on the Townhall.
It now has to be seen if the developer and architect will listen to the concerns of the community, elected members and Design Advisory Committee and make substantial changes. The developer murmured when he walked out that this was like Italy under Mussolini and that one could not even do what one wants with one’s own property.
Historic Fremantle Roundhouse, the oldest public building in Western Australia, is extremely popular with visitors from all over the world this week.
By 1.30 pm today, so after only three hours of being open, we already had over 900 visitors through the door. Yesterday they had well over 900 visitors and the day before just under 1,000 visitors.
Over 100 people watched the firing of the cannon today.
It is an amazing effort by the mainly elderly volunteer tour guides to keep the Roundhouse open every day of the year but for Christmas day and Good Friday.
Next year the Roundhouse will be part of the Fringe Festival with performances in the old gaol, so stay tuned.
The volunteer tour guides operate on donations from guests only so if there are corporate sponsors out there which would like to donate, don’t be shy and contact the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides!