Freo's View

ENJOY THE SUN WHILE IT LASTS!

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

 

colourful west end

 

 

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

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

 

Comments Off on RESIDENTS ACTIVATE FREMANTLE’S WEST END

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

Comments Off on FREO’S WALKABLE ART

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.  Let’s keep it in perspective!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S YELLOW NIGHTMARE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 30, 2018

 

 

What a shame, what an utter shame, that the stunning Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork in Fremantle historic West End, that was admired by tens of thousands of visitors over the last nine months, has now become a very serious worry for the City of Fremantle.

Cleaning experts have been looking at the yellow foil on the heritage-listed buildings for the last ten days, and their opinion should be a big concern for the City and its ratepayers.

One cleaning company expert told me this morning that his company would probably not even quote on the work because it would create a huge headache for them. He did not believe a heat gun or steam would get the foil off without doing damage to the paint and even some of the render. He also said it would be near impossible to match the fading colours of the paint on many of the buildings, so that some of the buildings might require to be painted totally.

One owner in High Street received a quote for painting his building at $ 45,000, that is three times more than the City of Fremantle has budgeted for, and it’s only for one single building!

I hope someone will come up with a cheap miracle cure for this predicament as it makes me sad to think that the great art installation would only be remembered for the difficulty in removing it.

This was the most recent project on a castle in France by the artist. Looks great too:

Roel Loopers

 

THE REPUBLIC OF FREMANTLE

 

An application for a tavern and gin distillery at 3 Pakenham Street in Fremantle’s historic West End will be considered at Wednesday’s Planning Committee.

The Republic of Fremantle would occupy the former warehouse, that was most recently used as a cafe and photographic gallery, and accommodate up to 350 patrons, including 28 in the alfresco parklet.

Ground level would have a bar, kitchen and toilets, while the mezzanine level would be for a bar and lounge function area.

The operators want to conduct gin distillery tours and classes.

Food would be available during all operating hours of the tavern, up to one hour prior to closing time, which would be Monday to Friday 11am to midnight and Saturday and Sundays 9 am to midnight.

There would be 20-25 staff employed in the tavern and two in the distillery.

I believe this would be a very good new addition to the West End and help the much-desired evening activation of the area.

Roel Loopers

 

Comments Off on THE REPUBLIC OF FREMANTLE

STUTTERING FREO WEST END ACTIVATION

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on July 18, 2018

 

 

There is always so much talk about the activation of the Fremantle historic West End, but then projects are stalled or abandoned and that is a real shame.

The former cute Notre Dame University bookshop building on the corner of Henry Street and Marine Terrace is still vacant, and the considerations of making the boring back wall of the Santa Maria library in Henry Street into a heritage wall also have not eventuated, and neither has the planned activation node on Phillimore Street.

I hear from the hospitality industry that the former bookshop rent is far too high at $ 40,000 a year, indexed at 3-4%. An interested party told me they would have to invest around $ 200,000 for a commercial kitchen, etc. and that the figures simply don’t end up for them to open a cafe in the space that has a lovely courtyard in front of it.

The very good refurbishment of the Prindiville Hall in Mouat Street is positive, but it is a space for students rather than for the community

The Fremantle community and West End traders want more than talk and want to see action on activating the area.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO CITY SILENT ABOUT INCOMPETENCE

 

 

A year ago Fremantle celebrated the inclusion of the historic West End on the WA State Heritage List, but at present it is playing deaf and dumb about the damage done and problems with the removal of the Arcs D’Ellipse yellow artwork along High Street.

There has been no official word from the City of Fremantle, probably because they don’t want to admit liability in case it becomes a legal process with property owners, and probably it is just one of those immature PR exercises where the idea is that if you don’t respond to criticism it will just fade away.

I had another look yesterday at some of the damage already done by removing the yellow foil from heritage listed buildings and it’s not pretty. It is unlikely that building owners will accept a patch up job where the paint does not perfectly match the existing paint, and that might well mean that some of the buildings will have to have a significant paint job at huge costs to the ratepayers.

The process has been back to front, with the City now getting testing done on how to safely remove the foil, when that should have been done well before permission was given to the artist to attach it.

Will the City of Fremantle insurance cover the damage when it was attached by volunteers who are not staff of the City? Will the City of Fremantle admit this was amateur hour incompetence, and what about the silence of the High Tide Biennale directors and curator about this shambles? All those who were keen to take credit and be photographed with the Felice Varini artwork are now nowhere to be seen or heard.

Not commenting won’t make it go away, City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

I received this official statement from the City of Fremantle late on Wednesday afternoon:

The Arcs d’Ellipses artwork proved to be hugely popular and helped to raise Fremantle’s profile and attract thousands of visitors to the West End.

The City commenced the removal of the artwork last month by removing it from the Town Hall without any difficulties, but has encountered some problems removing it from some buildings on High Street.

It was always a condition of the agreement with property owners that the City would make good any damage to paintwork as a result of the removal of the artwork. There is provision for this in the City’s budget.

The City will work with building owners to ensure any damage caused by the removal of the artwork is repaired.

The City is looking to engage a paint specialist within the next week to assist in the removal of the artwork and repair of the buildings. Once they’ve been engaged we will have a better understanding of the costs involved.

 

FREO LONG TABLE DINNER ON AGAIN

Posted in charity, city of fremantle, food, hospitality, st patricks, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2018

 

Freo Lomg Table

 

Early warning that the fantastic Fremantle Long Table Dinner in historic  High Street will be on again this year on November 29.

Tickets will be going on sale from September 3, so make a note of that so you won’t mis out.

Proceeds of the delightful evening go to the St Patrick’s community group, so it is not only a great night out, but all for a very worthwhile cause.

Roel Loopers

DAMAGE TO THE SOUL OF FREMANTLE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 16, 2018

 

 

There is quite an incredible amateur attitude at the City of Fremantle regarding the damage done to heritage buildings by the Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse artwork along High Street.

The assurance to building owners that the City will repair the damage is simply not good enough because it will only ever be patch up work. Some of the deeper damage may require re-rendering parts of the buildings, and after that the near impossible task will start to colour match fading paint in all different forms and shapes all over the buildings.

It is not good enough that there was a cavalier attitude toward using these old buildings by the well-paid artist, the High Tide biennale directors and City of Fremantle staff, and it is extremely unprofessional that someone’s word was accepted that it would be easy to remove the foil, instead of doing proper testing before the yellow foil was allowed to be attached to the buildings.

The West End is the soul of Fremantle and its significance should never be under estimated and be taken for granted, but that is what all involved with this art project did!

I love the Varini artwork and so did the tens of thousands of visitors who admired it and promoted it all over the world on social media. It is very important to have great innovative public art and that should never be discouraged, but the basic principle has to be that one knows what one is doing, and not let someone else clean up the mess.

It is not good enough City of Fremantle and the lack of professionalism of some of the people involved should be seriously questioned.

We also still have not heard an official word from our City’s leaders about this, so what about it CEO Phil StJohn and Mayor Brad Pettitt?

Roel Loopers

%d bloggers like this: