Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > State Ships Building
The 1921 two-storey limestone building in Pioneer Park, at 1-9 Short St, was first the State Shipping Service Office, and then the Fremantle Art Gallery from 1978 to 1987 when it was closed and the collection moved to the Fremantle Arts Centre. It is now the home of the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. It seems that in 1975 the government agreed to the removal of the building, in favour of open space. See a brief note apparently to that effect in the Fremantle Society newsletter. I believe it didn't happen because the Council decided it needed the building for an art gallery, which it became in 1978.
The building was constructed as a commercial building in 1921. It is a two storey limestone building with a corrugated iron roof, constructed in the Federation Free Classical style of architecture. The building was used as the State Shipping Service Office. In 1975 it was vested in the City of Fremantle and in September 1978 it was officially opened as the Fremantle Art Gallery. In 1988 it was refurbished to specifically accommodate the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. The building is listed on the City of Fremantle's Municipal Heritage List. Wikipedia.
State Shipping Service of Western Australia was a government transport entity created in 1912, following the Western Australian state election, 1911, with an emphasis on providing reliable transport to the North West ports of the state. It was originally known as the State Steamship Service and kept that name until 1918. From 1913 to 1918 it was controlled by the Fremantle Harbour Trust. In 1919 the name was changed to State Shipping Service. In 1979 the service name was changed to 'Stateships'. In 2005 the service ceased trading as it no longer operated any ships.
The former offices in Fremantle are now used by the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, and various artefacts from the service are housed in the Fremantle Maritime Museum. Wikipedia.
Garry Gillard | New: 8 May, 2016 | Now: 4 November, 2016