Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on April 20, 2017



There has been speculation in the Fremantle community if the swans on the Townhall would be black or white after the extensive conservation work, but they are neither.

The swans were originally not painted at all, like the rest of the Townhall clocktower, and were only painted black in the 1960s.

The stunning Freo Townhall will be 130 years old on June 22 this year. It was opened on that day in 1887.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, kings square, tourism, western australia by freoview on April 11, 2017


I can’t get enough of it! What a wonderful sight the newly restored Fremantle Townhall is.

Go and have a look at how detailed the conservation work has been and what a fantastic job has been done.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on April 6, 2017


The clock tower of the Fremantle Townhall is slowly being revealed after extensive conservation works and I am excited how good it looks in the earthy tones.

It has cost a lot of money but I believe it was well worth it.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on March 29, 2017


How beautiful it is to see the Fremantle Townhall restored back to its old former glory. It looks magnificent!

Scaffolding is very slowly coming down and revealing more of the great conservation works daily, so walk down to Kings Square and have a look at it.

Roel Loopers



Posted in enkel, fremantle, fremantle network by freoview on March 28, 2017

The monthly Fremantle Network event upstairs at the National Hotel on Monday evening featured Adam Jorlen of ENKEL and Adin Lang of the newly founded Friends of Freo.

ENKEL will move into the former Navy Stores at Cantonment Hill this year and is a social innovation centre with the aim to create a new generation of changemakers.

The group has a 20-year lease and there will be a big climbing wall, collaboration with Freo Food, and there will be stations for robotics and coding, a school of changemakers and Knowmads.

All activities in the big hall will be open to the public.

The ENKEL concept intrigues me as I like change and innovation, but for the sceptic there seems to be unresolved naivety about it. It worries me that the group only has 55 members when it has been operating out of Victoria Park for a few years now.

I am all for giving the group a fair go and the benefit of the doubt though, because creative rejuvenation is very important for the future of Fremantle, but I have no idea how they are going to survive financially and pay the required rent to the City of Fremantle.

Change is healthy when it is good change, so I definitely will try to get involved with ENKEL events to make sure that the new concept also involves older people and taps into our experience and knowledge.

And ENKEL means simple or easy in Swedish, Adam Jorlen told us. To broaden your horizon, let me point out that it also means nephew in German and ankle in Dutch. ; >)

Adin Lang who just started Friends of Freo as an extension of Friends of Hollis Park, wants to connect the green spine of Fremantle and do community nature conservation work in collaboration with the City of Fremantle.

It is about connecting the community groups at Cantonment Hill, Clontarf Hill, Booyembara Park, Hollis Park, etc. and share tools and knowledge, and tackle unique issues.

I think that is a good idea because community groups often work in isolation of other community groups with similar concepts.

Former Councillor Robert Fittock pointed out that Adin Lang had not included North Fremantle in his map and Adin promised to change that.

I always enjoy the Fremantle Network events and the next one will be on the last Monday of April where people from the affordable and ethical housing project Nightingale will speak.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on March 27, 2017


The scaffolding is coming down at the Fremantle Townhall so go and have a look at all the conservation work done of the exterior of the building.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, kings square, local government by freoview on March 18, 2017

Scaffolding will gradually come down from next week on the Fremantle Townhall.

I was given an exterior tour of the conservation works on Friday by City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall and heritage project officer Gena Binet and Zac of the building contractors and was very impressed with the very detailed and substantial work involved in the $ 3.1 million project.

The Townhall project is the largest conservation work the city has ever undertaken and was necessary because of the deterioration of the building due to paint that did not allow the building to breath and suffocated the building, hence salt and moisture had badly damaged large areas.

Don’t expect a brightly-painted building as it has been brought back to its original stucco look of 1887.

About the town hall restoration

Before current restorative works were undertaken it had been almost thirty years since the last major capital expenditure on the Fremantle Town Hall.

Since mid-2016 a large team of skilled stonemasons, plasterers, lead workers and slate roofers with specialist traditional skills have transformed the exterior of the town hall building using traditional building methods.

Key elements such as the roof cladding and drainage systems needed to be replaced urgently to protect the building from ongoing deterioration prevent the loss of culturally significant features and address concerns about public safety.

Gutters and downpipes were too small to cope with current extreme weather events and have led to ongoing damage to the interior of the building. These elements have all been enlarged.

There were also ongoing issues caused by inappropriate surface treatments and repairs to masonry elements carried out in the1950s–60s. At this time there was little understanding of best practice conservation which had unfortunately led to the ongoing deterioration of masonry, embedded steel and timbers and decorative stucco work in the town hall.

During the works, it was discovered some inaccessible parts of the building were in worse condition than expected and extra works were required. To prevent further deterioration of the building and to make use of scaffolding already in place for the current restoration works, it was more efficient and cost effective to complete these additional works now.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Stunning views from the top of the Townhall so I will post some scenic photos of Fremantle next week and have requested a rooftop bar and a granny flat for me to be included in the renovations.


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, local government by freoview on December 19, 2016

It took a week but the City of Fremantle has responded to questions asked by Freo’s View reader Kel Smith regarding the Townhall renovations:

Conservation works have been progressing well on the Fremantle Town Hall with most tasks to be completed by Christmas as originally planned.

However it has been discovered during the works, that some inaccessible parts of the building were in worse condition than expected and extra works are now required to conserve the façades and tower and make them structurally sound. To prevent further deterioration of the building, and to make use of the existing infrastructure already in place for the current restoration works, it was more efficient and cost effective to complete these additional works now.

At November’s meeting, council allocated a further $370,000 to the project budget to complete these additional works. The percentage of this budget allocated to scaffold costs is a commercial confidentiality for the contractor but is considerably less than the speculated figure of $750,000.

The completion date for the entire project is currently being negotiated with the contractor but at this stage, has been extended into 2017.

The scaffold surrounding the building will be gradually dropped as the works are completed, starting with the upper levels of the tower and then working around the building from Kings Square into William Street. This is anticipated to occur in early 2017.

The City is very keen to have the project finished as soon as possible but does not want to rush this important once-in-a-generation conservation project that will enhance and protect our iconic town hall for the enjoyment of future generations.


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on December 14, 2016


Freo’s View reader Kel asked questions about the Fremantle Townhall renovations, so here some info:

The City is undertaking a major $2.8m project to conserve the exterior of the historic Fremantle Town Hall. The purpose of the work is to prevent further deterioration to the building occurring due to water penetration through the roof and undersized down pipes and gutters and the entrapment of moisture and salts in the masonry walls.

The works will replace the deteriorated roof and down pipes and gutters and carry out masonry and joinery conservation at roof level. Works will also be undertaken to conserve the clock tower roof and the High Street, William Street and tower facades.

Reinstatement of the spectacular slate roofs with cast iron finials together with the removal of paint on the facades to reveal the original stucco finish of the Town Hall will enhance the presentation and character of the Kings Square Precinct.

Conservation of the external shell of the Fremantle Town Hall will also prepare the way for future refurbishment of the interior of the building that will be undertaken in conjunction with the construction of the future new Fremantle Library and Civic Administration Building.

The City’s program of works will follow the guidelines set out in the nationally recognised ICOMOS Burra Charter for heritage conservation and the recommendations of the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Plan (1985/ 2004) by Considine and Griffiths Architects. The works will include:

 Replace all roof cladding and roof drainage system:

 Reinstating slate roof cladding and cast iron finial and balustrade details to the feature roofs (turrets, mansard roof)

 Reinstate flat metal sheeting to flat roofs, dormer windows etc.

 Reinstate corrugated galvanised steel sheet cladding to the concealed roofs and auditorium roof

Conserve all timber joinery including doors, windows, roof trims, flagpoles etc.

Conserve all rendered masonry by removing impermeable paint and cement renders and make good with lime render, lime mortar and natural hydraulic lime to match original

Conserve iron portico columns, treat rust and repaint.

Work is estimated to finish in late 2016 but at present it looks like it might go into early next year.

Roel Loopers


Posted in beaches, environment, fremantle, rubbish by freoview on October 16, 2016



Thank you, thank you, thank you! to all those dedicated volunteers who regularly clean up our beaches from the rubbish people leave behind or throw into the Indian Ocean.

It is an utter disgrace that there are so many people who believe others will clean up after them, as we see also at markets, festivals, concerts etc. where people simply walk away and leave food and drink containers as if it is none of their business to dispose of it properly in amply supplied rubbish bins.

I spotted a small group of Tangaroa Blue Conservation Volunteers at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach this Sunday morning. Well done!

Roel Loopers


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