Freo's View

EARLY MORNING IN THE FREO WEST END

 

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I had time left between having an early coffee and reading the West Australian and Fremantle Herald before my meeting with a designer about the planned new historic interpretive displays at the Roundhouse, so I had a walk around the West End where I took the photos above.

A group of people attending an art class on the corner of Cliff and High streets, a colourful alfresco cafe in High, a crane signalling rare new development in the heritage-listed West End and a colourful reflection at J Shed on Bathers Beach at the new temporary studio of stone sculptor Jina Lee. Make sure to visit her and all the other Arthur’s Head artists soon!

Roel Loopers

 

BUILDING CRANE IN FREO’S HISTORIC WEST END

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on December 20, 2018

 

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It is rather unusual to see a big building crane going up in Fremantle’s historic West End, but this one was put together all day in Henry Street for the construction of the four-storey residential building on the former Fremantle Workers Club site.

Roel Loopers

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FREO CITY, SUPPORT THE WEST END ACTIVATORS!

 

Carriage Cafe

 

I hear that the owners of the cute Carriage Cafe on the Fremantle Esplanade have been told that they can stay till March next year and then will be offered a lease until 2022, but with the option for the City of Fremantle to terminate the lease on a monthly basis.

This is ridiculous, unprofessional and unworkable, as no one in their right mind will invest in a business that does not have a secure long-term tenure.

Last winter the thick plastic ‘curtains’ that keep the wind and rain out of the cafe’s dining area where ripped to pieces during a storm, so the owners will have to put new ones in which will cost thousands of dollars. Why would they do that if they can be chucked out on short notice? Even a pop-up shop gets a six-month lease, for heaven’s sake!

Why does Fremantle Council make it so hard for businesses who want to stay in Fremantle, when vacant shop fronts pop up faster than weeds in our city? Does anyone at all understand what commercial viability means and how important safe tenure is?

Let’s be realistic and pragmatic about the Esplanade masterplan. The new hub and new cafe won’t happen for years, if at all, because the City of Fremantle does not have the money to finance it, so accept the reality and support the Carriage Cafe owners who have plans to also open at night as a restaurant.

West End businesses were left off the new shopping map, and Arthur’s Head businesses are not sure about their future there, while the place is falling apart because of poor maintenance, so it’s urgent time for Fremantle Council to stop talking about wanting to activate the West End of Fremantle and actually start supporting those who are already activating it!

Roel Loopers

 

TIME TO CLEAN UP THE WEST END MESS!

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 8, 2018

 

 

A group of tourists, on an historic tour of Fremantle yesterday, commented to me that the yellow Felice Varini artwork along historic High Street has started to look like a messy eyesore, and I agree with that.

All the trials to try to remove the yellow foil have left walls looking ugly and damaged, so it is really time for the City of Fremantle to get a move on.

Summer is just around the corner and there is already an increase in cruise ship visitors, backpackers and others, so our city should look at its best. Instead we got the yellow mess saga that appears to continue indefinitely, with some building owners taking legal action, and we also got lots of fences all around Arthur’s Head because of fear of rockfall there.

I know that the wheels of any government turn very slowly, but it is time to clean up the mess in the West End with urgency and priority!

Roel Loopers

 

ART IN THE FREO WEST END

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, exhibition, Uncategorized by freoview on November 2, 2018

 

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A reminder that the Fremantle ART IN THE WEST END is on today from 4-7pm in four venues.

Go visit Artsource in Phillimore Street, Level Up Studios in Cliff Street, PSAS in Pakenham Street and the new gallery in the National Hotel on High Street to see great art by local artists.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S YELLOW ART NIGHTMARE CONTINUES

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 29, 2018

 

colourful west end

 

It appears all is not well with the yellow Arcs D’Ellipse art saga in Fremantle’s historic West End. According to reports I received several building owners have refused to sign the letter of agreement with the City of Fremantle about the removal of the yellow foil and the repair and repaint, as they are not satisfied the best methods are being suggested for the removal.

Some building owners have received their own quotes for repairing the damage, while others have issued writs against Fremantle City.

The highly successful and great Felice Varini artwork became a victim of its own success when CoF decided to leave the foil on the heritage listed buildings six months longer than was initially planned. This resulted in the adhesive becoming too strongly attached and the resulting nightmare in trying to remove it.

Roel Loopers

ENJOY THE SUN WHILE IT LASTS!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2018

 

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We have two hot days ahead of us before it gets colder and the rain will be back on Thursday, so make the best of the good weather while you can.

This colourful photo I took on Monday is all about Freo; heritage, colour, art, sun, people, alfresco.

Roel Loopers

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RESIDENTS ACTIVATE FREMANTLE’S WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 2, 2018

 

High St

 

A good way to activate city areas is getting more residents living in them, so the proposal to change the top floor of 85-87 High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End into multiple dwellings should be encouraged by Fremantle Council, and so should the addition of a three-storey, three multiple dwellings rear building behind it.

The development plans will come before the Planning Committee this Wednesday.

The residential apartment development on the former Workers Club site in Henry Street is under way and will see more people living in the old town. Notre Dame University have also indicated they might want to create student housing in the former Customs House complex between Pakenham and Henry Street, so that would be very welcome as well.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO’S WALKABLE ART

Posted in art, children, city of fremantle, creative, Uncategorized by freoview on September 7, 2018

 

 

Fremantle has got some hidden art that is not hidden at all, but most people don’t notice it because they are walking on it.

All along High Street in the historic West End are these small plaques in the footpath. They are ideal for an I Spy With My Eye discovery adventure for children, so let them search for them.

The little artworks have been there for years, so I can’t remember who the artist is and can’t give her/him the credit they deserve.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE IS NOT FALLING APART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 17, 2018

 

Arcs D'Ellipse

 

This is one of the last blog posts I am publishing about the removal issues with the Felice Varini yellow Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle’s High Street, until the City of Fremantle has appointed a contractor and let us know the final costs of it.

But with all the negativity at the end of the artwork’s life I want to point out something we should not forget and underestimate in all of this.

There is absolutely no doubt from the many days that I was in the far West End-that is every day of the year-that there was a significant increase in visitors to Arthur’s Head, who were queueing up on the steps to get photos of the great optical illusion.

The expressions of delighted surprise when they ‘discovered’ the artwork were a real joy to watch and business owners nearby noticed a definite increase in visitors, as did the Roundhouse.

The promotion and marketing value of tens of thousands of photos being shared on social media of Freo’s historic High Street are immeasurable and something you just can not achieve with most tourism campaigns.

The High Tide Biennale that was under the umbrella of the Fremantle Festival added a new and very creative dimension to the tired festival and I can’t wait for next year to see what they come up with.

Yes, it is disappointing that there are serious issues with the removal of the artwork, but that is now being professionally addressed by the City of Fremantle. It is a very expensive inconvenience, but not a disaster. Fremantle is not falling apart, we did not have an earthquake like the poor people of Lombok, but we had an outstanding artwork by an internationally renowned artist that put us on the map as a progressive and creative city. ┬áLet’s keep it in perspective!

Roel Loopers

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