Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > Liebler Building facade
The facade of the Liebler Building, 21-29 Cliff St, is also known as that of the Reckitt and Colman Building and was probably constructed 1880s-90s for the Samson family. It is between the extant Lionel Samson building and the site of WF Samson's 1881-1900 residence.
After restoration in 2019.
As it was until 2018, with doorways and windows filled in, and decorated with quasi-religious art, and known as the 'Wedding Wall' because it provided a backdrop for photographs.
The Fremantle Library History Collection gives a rather different history.
Between 1890 and 1895 this facade was constructed in front of some stone cottages (c. 1881), probably to enhance their appearance. However these buildings were demolished in November 1967. The facade is classified by the National Trust. (Fremantle Library photo #1021, 1972.)
Heritage Council page
What follows is an article about the buildings that were previously on the corner of High and Cliff Sts from the Fremantle Society's newsletter (Fremantle) August 1991 issue, pp. 1, 3-5. A note at the end of the article credits 'Des Lambert, formerly of Samsons, for the historical notes for this article'.
What the site looks like in late 2016, with the Liebler facade extreme left, and the tramways facade with new apartment complex to the right. Notre Dame University plans to develop the site, with a five-storey building including a theatre, a bar/cafe, and a function centre/exhibition space, but keeping the Liebler facade.
New Uni Plans
Stephen Pollock, Fremantle Herald, 7 October 2016
THE university of Notre Dame is planning a new building on the south west corner of Cliff and High Streets, home of Fremantle’s famous “Wedding Wall”.
They will reveal their plans at an information session on Monday, 3.30pm at Fairweathers, the old Fremantle Hotel diagonally opposite the proposed site.
The university told the Chook it would keep the facade (which is frequently draped in bridal parties lining up for wedding snaps), but were keeping tight-lipped on any other detail.
William Frederick Samson's house was built on the proposed site in 1855.
It was demolished by Elder Smith in 1954 and from 1976 onwards was part of the Marina Village development, and these days the site behind the wall is a carpark.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company recently opened its well-received new HQ on Cliff Street, a few doors down.
Notre Dame Plays Height Hardball
Stephen Pollock, Fremantle Herald, 18 November 2016
NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY is playing hardball over the height of its planned $17 million nursing and midwifery school in Fremantle’s West End.
Next week the uni will submit a proposal to Fremantle council for a five-storey school at the south-west corner of Cliff and High Streets, despite the town planning scheme only permitting four storeys in the heritage precinct.
When the five storey plan was first unveiled at a public meeting last month, Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the height would be 'challenging' for council, but after consulting with the WA Heritage Council the university has decided to press forward.
'There are very few scenarios where we approve that sort of height in the West End,' says Dr Pettitt. 'But we take every case on its merits and will have to look at how far the fifth storey is set back.
'I know city officers were concerned it could be visible from the street and we’ll need to look at that very closely.'
The upper floors of the planned building will be home to the nursing and midwifery school and the ground floor will include a 200-seat theatre, a small cafe/bar on High Street, and retail on Cliff Street, accessible through the heritage 'Wedding wall' facade.
Notre Dame released its controversial plan on the same day WA heritage minister Albert Jacob announced that Fremantle’s West End would be added to the state heritage register to provide more protection.
Garry Gillard | New: 2 May, 2016 | Now: 8 November, 2019