Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on April 21, 2015

kulcha work

Scaffolding is up around the lovely KULCHA/DOME building on the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip, so it looks like the grande old lady is getting a facelift, or new make-up, and will get painted. Always good to see work on heritage buildings.

Also good that Fremantle Council tomorrow evening will set a management team in place for the old Boys School at Princess May Park, so it can be decided what to do with it after the renovations are done, in case the FTI does not want to move back in, and it is highly unlikely they will want to as their funding has been cut drastically.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, form, fremantle, public2015 by freoview on April 16, 2015

art 1 art 2

Mosman Park architect David Weir is not a fan of PUBLIC2015 by FORM, which has organised the painting of artworks on some 42 buildings around Perth during the week-long symposium. Weir acknowledges that the artworks are great but writes on his blog “It’s the canvas I take exception to.”

He argues in his lengthy article that the artworks are disrespectful to the designers, architects, builders, visions, concepts and that the artists use the buildings as if it was a blank canvas that is not part of the entire building design and streetscape. “The work of millions of man hours subjugated by a fresh approach and a cavalier attitude.” David Weir writes.

Weir complains that it is disrespectful that we paint something on buildings of a talented architect/designer because we-the new generations-decided they got it wrong in the first place and they should have painted an artwork on the blank walls, and he finishes his article “There is an insect and buffalo on the side of the Myer building and I don’t see the point.”

I especially love the massive and stunning buffalo painting by artist TWOONE above the MANY 6160 entrance but I do believe that David Weir has some valid points here. There is a certain arrogance in believing younger generations know better and we might as well paint the pyramids in Egypt red or get TWOONE to paint one of his giant and delightful buffalos on an ancient church because that old style is no longer relevant to modern living and architecture. It’s a bit like Photoshopping the hell out of great landscapes because the artists knows so much better what it should look like than nature does.

I believe David Weir has a point an that it would be an interesting discussion PUBLIC2015 and the wider community should have.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square by freoview on April 15, 2015

The combined Public Relations might of the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital seem to have pushed Channel Nine’s Perth Today morning news to do an advertorial style 5.20 minute long ‘news’ item on the future of Fremantle yesterday.

Call me a cynic any time, but when concerned members of the community are asking questions about the financial plan for Kings Square and the City of Fremantle is not releasing details of it because of “commercial confidentiality” and instead of answering questions by highly-regarded professional auditors then goes on a PR blitz where Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilley talks about being the catalyst for transformation with the stalled and delayed Kings Square development, then we know spin, hubris and hot air are more important to Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and his Sirona mate than dealing with reality and providing answers to very serious and valid questions.

Channel Nine should be ashamed of itself putting this up as a news item because there was absolutely nothing new in it. All these proposed developments have been promoted by the City of Fremantle for over a year. They even published a glossy brochure telling the world about nearly a billion dollars worth of investment in the pipeline in the port city.

Instead of hopping on the spin train to provide a smokescreen it would have been better if Sirona Capital had authorised the City of Fremantle to release the financial details for Kings Square. That would have been really good PR and real news, instead of rehashing old stuff to take away the public attention from the persistent questioning about the deal the City did with Sirona.

These questions won’t go away Brad and Matthew, no matter how many smokescreens your PR machine will put up! Please answer the questions and don’t insult those members of the Freo community who are concerned that all might not be hunky dory with Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

Just a small update I received from Simone McGurk who was also interviewed by Nine Morning. She emailed to say the production of that story had started in late March.


Posted in fremantle, future, local government, perth, planning by freoview on April 1, 2015

Fifty artists, 42 city walls and 18 international ‘change makers” will come to Perth for the PUBLIC 2015 symposium that will transform the city.

Large-scale artworks will be created during PUBLIC 2015 that will run from April 10-19. The International symposium will explore the value of creativity in building dynamic spaces and will have international speakers from the arts, architecture, urban planning, technology and philantropy.

This will be very interesting in the light of the just released UWA-Factbase for the Committee of Perth-Fremantle section by Veronica Hudleston.

Hudleston writes that city planning “needs to be on maintaining a unique set of advantages and attributes that attract and retain population.” She also warns that population growth should not happen at all cost, but that we should be planning and developing a desired demographic structure rather than the simplistic pursuit of growth.

Hudleston also mentions that the City of Fremantle already has a relatively higher level of population density and that East Fremantle is one of the highest population densities in the Perth metro area.

While the Perth metro had an increase of population of 29.3 per cent, Fremantle only managed 8.2 per cent in the period from 2001-2011.

I am looking forward to the PUBLIC 2015 sympsosium!


Posted in fremantle, heritage by freoview on March 31, 2015

I am delighted to see scaffolding up and work underway at two of Fremantle’s major heritage sites. At the Married Quarters cottages at Cantonment Hill one can already see some progress, while not much can be seen yet at the Warders Cottages in Henderson Street.

I don’t know what the truth is on the repair status of the Henderson Street cottages with workers telling people they are doing the whole lot, but people in the community saying it is just about repairing the walls and maybe roofs. The scaffolding looks pretty serious so let’s hope the government has found some more money to make substantial renovations there.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, fremantle workers club, real estate by freoview on March 25, 2015

workers club

The Fremantle Workers Club in a prime inner city West End location in Henry Street has been sold but the club does not want to divulge who the new owner is until settlement has been reached.

Any new development in the West End of Fremantle has to be extremely sensitive to the important heritage of the area, so it will be interesting to see what the new owner wants to do with it.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage, western australia by freoview on March 25, 2015

It’s time to protest loud and clear that the state of disrepair of our heritage buildings is an unacceptable disgrace that shows little respect for Western Australia’s history. Tokenism is the word of the day when it comes to the care of heritage buildings with the State Government barely doing enough to keep the Warders Cottages in Fremantle standing.

Tomorrow-Thursday-morning East Fremantle and Fremantle Councillors and irate residents together with Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk will meet in front of Parliament House to meet the media at 9.10 am. Let’s make it a crowd and shout out loud that we care about our history and heritage!!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage by freoview on March 18, 2015

Warders Cottages

It is interesting to note that the stabilisation work on the Fremantle Warders Cottages did not start with those closest to the Fremantle Markets, that are most in the eye of tourists.

The photo shot from the Queensgate carpark roof shows how significant these historic cottages are in the centre of Fremantle and how important it is to get them renovated and occupied as soon as possible.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage, western australia by freoview on March 17, 2015

Neglected heritage buildings in Western Australia are in the lime light again with State Government intending to sell off the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle and the Warders Cottages in Fremantle.

There always appears to be enough money for anything else but when it comes to looking after our historic buildings the government dismally fails.

The National Trust has taken far too many buildings on and can’t get the funding to do up every building they have in their custodianship. It is quite hypocritical for the Trust’s CEO Tom Perrigo to express concern about the way the City of Fremantle is renovating the former Boys School at Princess May Park, when his own orgnisation is responsible for demolition by neglect situations.

Is private ownership or long-term leasing of heritage the only way out of the limbo or are there other options? It was suggested in a comment to this blog that the City of Fremantle should renovate and move staff to heritage buildings instead of building a new civic centre. Cost comparison  would be interesting because heritage repairs are always much more expensive.

Sunset Events has committed to spending over a million dollars to renovate and move into the Artillery Drill Hall that was home of the Fly by Night Club for many years, money the National Trust obviously did not have, so that a good compromise as long as the renovations are done with respect for the history of the building.

Handing over heritage buildings to private developers is dangerous as they always push the envelope and want more than is allowed in planning and heritage schemes. With local and state governments keen to get things going the likelihood of compromise is a bit too tempting for my liking. Maybe crowd sourcing could create a substantial fund to upkeep our heritage?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, heritage, national trust by freoview on March 13, 2015

The Fremantle Herald reports today that the W.A. government wants to sell the historic Royal George Hotel in Duke Street, East Fremantle, after the National Trust allowed it to fall into disrepair as it failed to find funding to repair it and get tenants for the heritage-listed building.

National Trust CEO Tom Perigo was alway a bit too over-confident that he would just have to ask and Lotterywest would give him the millions he needed to repair all the buildings the government agency took on, but reality was far different. I hear Perigo has now vacated the CEO job and has been appointed a consultant to the National Trust.

The George Street area is very gorgeous and the old hotel is a real feature there that deserves much better than the neglect and vandalism it has received. Time will tell if a private operator will look after the building well enough and make parts of it open to the public.

Roel Loopers


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