75-79 High St
This 1920s commercial building at 75-79 High St is currently under threat of demolition without any plans proposed as to what might replace it. It is between the taller Wyola Club building (1903) and a similarly two-storey commercial building at 73. Tho the Heritage Council's entry (#22538, last updated 27 Feb 2016) states that it was admitted to the Council's Heritage List in 2011 - contrary to what the Fremantle Herald's article of 19 March 2016 (below) suggests - it was apparently deferred, in line with what Steve Grant writes. However, the threat remains - not just to the building, but to the streetscape. Part of the building was once occupied by Hope & Hicks's tailoring business.
The tailoring premises of Hope & Hicks was in this building, though its appearance has been altered since then:
Statement of Significance
Commercial Building, 75-79 High Street, is a two storey brick building dating from the 1920s. The place has aesthetic value for its contribution to the streetscape. The place is a simple example of the Inter-War Stripped Classical style of architecture. It is historically significant as a representation of typical commercial building stock located within the commercial areas of central Fremantle.
Two storey rendered and painted brick building with unadorned parapet and pediment. The first floor has five timber sash windows with stucco banding across the façade. The ground floor has a tin awning over the shopfronts, suspended by metal tie rods. Shopfronts have been altered.
Jenkins & Co shop from 1929. Alterations carried out in 1946.
Currently (2002), Commercial - Retail Store (Terrace).
Owners (2011) advised much of the building dates from post World War Two and the 1970s & 1980s.
High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability).
Medium degree of authenticity with some original fabric remaining.
(These statements based on street survey only).
This place was adopted onto the Fremantle MHI and the Heritage List by the decision of Council on 28/09/2011. [It turns out that this information may need to be updated.]
West End Shop Faces Bulldozer
Steve Grant, Fremantle Herald, 19 March 2016, p.3
FREMANTLE council has received an application to demolish the gold rush era Port Stationery building in the West End.
“Gee, that’s a tough one,” Fremantle Society president John Dowson told the Herald.
“I’ve been through the building and seen it, and it’s a tough call because it was badly altered in the 1940s and it would need a lot of money to restore.”
Mr Dowson says there are “interesting features” such as a timber ceiling which could make the building worth saving, but he said it would need a committed owner.
In 2011 the building had been recommended for inclusion on the city’s heritage inventory but councillor Andrew Sullivan, an architect, had it removed when owner Robin Braham opposed its inclusion.
Mr Braham had argued the city had only viewed the building from the street, which didn’t give a true picture of its reduced heritage value.
He said a listing would restrict him from “progressing development for the betterment of Fremantle”.
Since then, the State Heritage Council has considered giving the entire West End precinct state heritage protection.
Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Herald many in the community consider the West End “sacred” and the council will “err on the side of caution” when considering the demolition application.
Dr Pettitt at first told the Herald he was unaware of the issue until earlier this week: when the Herald mentioned we’d spotted him chatting recently to the owner’s son, award-winning architect Ben Braham, he changed his unawareness to, “it was not clear to me if it was a demolition”.
“It was mostly about potential uses of the site and I hadn’t seen any plans,” he clarified.
“But I was aware it was going higher.”
Mr Dowson says any additional height, particularly at the front, would irreparably damage the historic streetscape.
“What’s there fits with the scale of the street, and it’s a critically essential element in terms of the original precinct.”
Fellow society committee member Robert Bodkin, who owns an iconic shoe shop across from the building, has written to the council pleading for the application to be rejected.
“If the present owner is not able or willing to restore this building he needs to move on,” he said.
He is also concerned demolition could result in the site being left vacant, as there is no replacement plan submitted that he is aware of.
Society to Fight Demolition
Fremantle Herald, 1 April 2016, p. 8
THE Fremantle Society will formally oppose the demolition of the 1920s Port Stationery building at 75 High Street in Fremantle’s West End.
The society’s committee decided to back a council report of 2011 that alterations to the building have been “compatible”, despite president John Dowson last week describing them as “damaging”: “The Fremantle Society … agrees with the original assessment that the place, despite its altered form, has exceptional and significant elements,” the society said in a submission to Fremantle council. The society wants the council to hold off any demolition approval until it’s received replacement development plans.
The building was first occupied by tailors Jenkins and Co, and has housed the Liberals, Archie Martin Vox and local luminaries including artist Marcus Beilby.
Roger Garwood's blog entry
Roel Loopers' blog entry
Garry Gillard | New: 20 March, 2016 | Now: 18 July, 2016