Freo's View

ITS ABOUT TIME FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, conversation, gambling, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2017

I know Fremantle is a progressive city and we like to get things moving, but are we really two hours ahead of the rest of Western Australia?

The clock in the Fremantle Townhall was only restarted at midday on Friday but two days later it is already two hours fast. Oooops! Or did we get a Usain Bolt clock installed?

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CONSERVATION WORK GOING TO PLAN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2017

 

Union Stores

 

Freo’s View reader Kel sent me some photos and complained about the condition of the historic Fremantle Unions Stores building on the corner of High and Henry streets, saying he feared the conservation work the City had conducted was not done properly and the same deterioration might happen to the Townhall.

I asked the Heritage Department of CoF for a detailed response and received this reassuring explanation:

UNION STORES
Since 2012 there has been an ongoing programme of works to conserve the Union Stores, to address various compliance issues and to upgrade services.
– 2013 – A safe roof access system was installed to allow for regular maintenance of the roof, gutters and air conditioning and also for undertaking conservation works in the following year.
– 2014 – Urgent structural repairs carried out to the parapets and gables. Parapets and gables conserved along with the deteriorated projecting flat surfaces of window sills, cornices and parapet copings. Street verandahs (reconstructed 1987) repaired and strengthened.
– 2015 – Electrical distribution board and fire systems upgraded and the rear verandah (1987) repaired and strengthened.
– 2016 – Ventilation of the basement improved to reduce damp and humidity to protect ground floor timbers and reduce problems with rising damp.

These works are part of the orderly process for the conservation and care of the City’s portfolio of heritage assets. The intention is to address building conservation in a manner that considers levels of urgency, economies of scale, correct sequence and good conservation practice. Many of these items of work will not be conspicuous but are vital to the conservation and long-term sustainability of these important heritage buildings for present and future generations.

Future works are planned to continue the conservation of the building facades once the moisture has evaporated from the walls and the damaging salts have migrated to the surface.

2014 Urgent Conservation Works
During 2012 and 2013 the poor condition of the rear of the parapets of the Union Stores was discovered and remedial works were planned for 2014. These parapets had become unstable due to the deterioration of the soft clay bricks – deterioration that had been exacerbated by well-meaning but inappropriate repairs in the 1980s as well as the painting of the building facades from the 1960s onwards.

Like the Fremantle Town Hall, damaging salts and moisture had seeped into the walls through hairline cracks and were trapped in the walls by cement render and plastic paints. The entrapped salts and moisture led to the deterioration of the soft clay bricks and lime mortar of the wall itself and caused embedded iron pins in decorative mouldings and structural bolts and plates to rust and expand causing cracking in the walls. To address this problem the paint and cement renders were removed to allow the walls to breathe and new repairs made use of breathable lime mortars, hydraulic lime renders and lime wash finishes.

However, the construction and condition of the Unions Stores was different to the Town Hall and required a different approach for its conservation. Removing the paint from the parapets was more difficult because the stucco surface was softer and in poorer condition. Also the early use of calcimine paint and lime wash on the building meant that although the walls could breathe well, not all of the pigment could be successfully removed.

The biggest difference however, was the volume of salt escaping from the walls. Almost immediately after the removal of paint and cement render from the parapets of the union stores large amounts of salt began to crystallise on the surface of the parapets. Within the same timeframe there was only a small amount of discolouration from salt at the Fremantle Town Hall. While the appearance of salt on the surface is good because it shows that the walls are healing themselves, when there is a large amount of salt it needs to be managed to minimise damage to the surface of the stucco. For this reason a sacrificial coating of lime wash was applied to the surface of the conserved areas so that the salt would crystallise on the lime wash causing it to decay rather than the stucco. The building was then left to gradually dry out expel the salts before any further works were undertaken.

Now in 2017 the salt crystals and some of the decayed lime wash has been washed off the Union Stores leaving the parapets looking somewhat patchy but in much better physical condition. This means that when further conservation works are undertaken in the future they will not be affected by salt damage.

We expect that the Fremantle Town Hall will suffer some deterioration from escaping salts as the walls breathe again but it will not be as significant as the Union Stores. Also, because the removal of paint from the stucco at the town hall was more successful, when there is some deterioration it will be less obvious as it will be the same colour as the surrounding stucco.

The Fremantle Townhall will officially be unveiled on Friday May 26 at 11.30 am at the start of the Heritage Festival. It looks absolutely stunning!

STUNNING TOWNHALL CONSERVATION WORK

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, conversation, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 3, 2017

Fremantle Townhall

 

Someone should get a heritage award for the stunning conservation work that has been done on the Fremantle Townhall.

The last details are being attended to before the entire building will be revealed at the start of Fremantle Heritage Week.

The buildings is now so delightfully beautiful and a real icon in our city.

If parts of it look patchy that is good, as it is a sign the building is now healing itself and getting rid of accumulated salt.

Well done everyone involved and a big thank you to the City of Fremantle heritage department!

Roel Loopers

NO BLACK SWANS ON FREO TOWNHALL

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

 

Townhall

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

Comments Off on NO BLACK SWANS ON FREO TOWNHALL

WONDERFUL FREO TOWNHALL

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

 

GREAT LOOKING FREO TOWNHALL REVEALED

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

Comments Off on GREAT LOOKING FREO TOWNHALL REVEALED

FREMANTLE TOWNHALL BACK TO FORMER GLORY

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

Comments Off on FREMANTLE TOWNHALL BACK TO FORMER GLORY

ENKEL CHANGEMAKERS FOR CANTONMENT HILL

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

Comments Off on ENKEL CHANGEMAKERS FOR CANTONMENT HILL

FREMANTLE TOWNHALL CONSERVATION REVEALED

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

Comments Off on FREMANTLE TOWNHALL CONSERVATION REVEALED

IMPRESSIVE FREMANTLE TOWNHALL CONSERVATION

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.

%d bloggers like this: