I am very disappointed and extremely annoyed to hear that Fremantle Council has yet again not budgeted to get power into the very popular Roundhouse tourists destination, so that the volunteer guides can move forward with their plans for new and modern displays.
It does not cost the City of Fremantle a cent to keep the Roundhouse open 363 days a year, as it is run by just 40 volunteers, who also open the historic building up after hours for weddings and event.
Fremantle Councillors constantly lament that they want to activate Arthur Head when the Roundhouse receives 130,000+ visitors a year, but they are not willing to support the tourism industry.
I am totally flabbergasted about that when Tourism WA keeps telling us that tourism is a huge growth industry.
It only needs $ 10,000 to run power into the cells for interactive displays, so that the guides can start to get the funding for the $ 200,000 project for which the professionally designed plans are ready.
I often criticise the lack of priorities at Fremantle Council that seems to always be able to find money for greeny projects, but when it comes to support one of the most visited tourist destinations in our city it just can’t be bothered.
No, let’s just donate another $ 14,000 for a tiny parklet in Wray Avenue that only a handful of people use, but stuff a volunteer organisation that looks after 130,000 tourists a year. It’s pathetic and I am disgusted!
I used to walk past Fremantle Prison almost daily when I lived in Bellevue Terrace, but that is now many years ago, so when I had to go to a meeting in the old Drillhall late yesterday afternoon I went and had a look at the World Heritage listed building and took this photo.
Sunset Events is holding a public information session today at 5.30 about their new plans for the number one unit at J Shed at Fremantle’s historic Bathers Beach.
Sunset Events’ previous plans for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 people outdoor music venue on the A-Class reserve were rejected by Fremantle Council, the W.A. Development Assessment panel and the State Administrative Tribunal, so it will be a tough task to get a smaller tavern approved as that use was deemed inappropriate for the reserve by the two state agencies.
The meeting is at the Drill Hall-former Fly by Night club- at Parry Street at 5.30 pm today, Monday March 27.
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.
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.
I hear Sunset Events intends to take up their 25-year lease of the No 1 studio at J Shed from July 1 and build a reduced-capacity tavern for 400 patrons.
It also wants to cater for wedding functions with a large marquee on the grassed area in front of the J Shed art studios.
The concert organisers’ attempt at getting approval for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 people live outdoor music venue was rejected last year by Fremantle Council, the WA Planning Committee and the State Administrative Tribunal.
If my memory is correct the state agencies rejected the tavern because it was deemed inappropriate for the A Class Reserve at Bathers Beach, and not because of the number of patrons.
I have no doubt that inner city residents and community and heritage groups will also fight this new proposal, and it will be interesting to see if Fremantle Council will support a smaller tavern in one of WA’s most significant historic areas where the first British settlers set up home.
High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is the most beautiful street in Western Australia in my opinion.
It is also a fantastic old-style high street shopping experience that has a sense of wonderment about it. If it had a roof over it it would be one of the world’s most stunning shopping arcades.
There is such a large variety of traders in the Goldrush period buildings that I thought to mention them all, because there are probably quite a few you don’t know about:
- The National and Orient hotels, Lapa Brazilian restaurant, Roma Cucina Italian restaurant.
- Chalkys, Blink, Hush, Breakers, High Street Dispensary, Piccolo, Cafe 55, Quinlans, and Common Grind cafes.
- Japingka, Adam Monk, Artisan Store galleries.
- New Edition and the Second Hand bookshops
and there is a whole lot more!
Clara Beauty, Remedy, Bousfield, Adulshop, the Police station, Notre Dame University, Enzo D’Allessandro hairdresser, Djurra, Ugg Australia shoes, Three Stories fashion, Common Ground fashion, Fremantle Beach and the Sundance backpackers, Printline, Bitches Brew framers, Unique Hair, Bodkins Bootery, Anjel MS fashion and Fremantle Art Space, Kartique. Ame Belle fashion, Port Stationary, Dreske Somoff leather, Tuart Place social services, Australian Maritime Officers Union, West Coast Cruise&Travel Centre, High Street Chemist, Haute on High fashion, Lee’s newsagency, Compendium, Ancient Earth, Lavita hairdresser, Finishing Touch gallery, Rialto Apartments, The Record Finder with two shops, Port Jarrah furniture, Absolutely Adult, the Buffalo and Navy clubs, ACAI Bros raw food, Brazilian Butterfly beauty, Miss Chats Bar.
You still want to argue there is no shopping variety in Fremantle? This is just one street full with it!
To top it all off Freo’s most gorgeous street ends at WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and the lovely Bathers Beach.
It is anyone’s guess why the City of Fremantle and BID don’t do more to promote High Street as a great shopping experience that has character, is very Freo, and very different from the sterile shopping boredom in the major centres.
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.
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.