Fremantle Stuff > buildings > 18-22 Adelaide Street

Mills Records, 18-22 Adelaide St

Mills Records has been at 22 Adelaide St for long enough that I'll use it as the name for the whole of this (1905?) building. It is proposed (late 2016, early 2017) to develop the site, retaining the existing building but erecting a five-storey structure for accommodation above and behind it. The Mayor has promised to find an alternative home for Mills Records in a Council-owned building, perhaps the Bateman/Union Stores building.


There is a proposal before Council to develop 18-22 Adelaide St up to five storeys.


Fremantle Herald, 8 October: 2.

Mills to Go? Stephen Pollock, Fremantle Herald, 30 September 2016.

THE FUTURE of one of the oldest record shops in Fremantle is in doubt.
Mills Records has been trading in the port city since 1945, but owner Andrew Bailey was gobsmacked last week when a notice was plonked on his Adelaide Street store, stating that a submission had been lodged with council to redevelop the building into five-storey tourist accommodation.
The plans included a shop on the ground floor, but Mr Bailey had heard diddly-squat from his landlord, leaving him unsure about Mills’ future.
“Not long ago we moved onto a monthly lease and the shop beside us closed,” he says.
“Retail in Fremantle is doing it tough and there are plenty of empty shopfronts around the place.
“Vinyl had made a comeback so we’re doing not too bad, but it’s hard out there.”


Mills Records owner Andrew Bailey. Photo by Stephen Pollock


To add to Mr Bailey’s confusion, the plans are not available on the city’s website and they will only be out for public comment for 14 days, as council does not classify the development as “significant”.
The lack of consultation over the five-storey building, which includes 40 rooms and 12 parking spaces, has irked Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who complained to council.
“I understand the proposal is for five storeys in a highly significant heritage area,” wrote Mr Dowson.


Artists impression of development.

“That is a major development under anyone’s definition and a major worry given the poor quality of development council has been pushing through recently.
“18-22 Adelaide Street is in a highly important historic precinct of interest to a vastly greater number of people than just the neighbours to the proposed development.
“I ask that you intervene to advertise the development to precincts and the wider community and allow a longer public submission time.”
The Herald contacted Realty One, who agreed to pass our questions onto Mills' landlord, but we didn’t hear back. [end]


The Google Earth capture above shows that there is a carpark behind the existing buildings - so that most of a new structure could be on that larger part of the site.

Roel Loopers, freoview blog, 27 September 2016

A worrying development application is current for 22 Adelaide Street, where Mills Records is. The developers want to build a five storey building for tourist accommodation there.


While I believe it is important to have a mix of retail, office, tourist and residential accommodation at Kings Square this proposal is far too high for that site.
Urgent time to let the City of Fremantle know that a five, even four, storey building in that location is absolutely inappropriate and only a maximum of three storeys should be approved.


Submissions need to be in latest by October 6 for DA 0117/16.

Unfortunately I can’t find anything on the City’s website but the plans can be viewed at the reception. No idea though why they are not on-line where they are far more accessible for public scrutiny. It’s 2016, not 1985. I did a search for them and we should not be forced to have to come to the administration building to view some plans. Not good enough COF!!


Roel Loopers, 27 September 2016

I went and had a look at the development plans for 18-22 Adelaide Street at the City this morning and I am outraged that architects could have so little respect for Fremantle’s heritage and character.

The five-storey short-term accommodation building is a disgrace because of its utter blandness and ugliness. The architects and developers no doubt believe they can get away with sticking three storey of ugly concrete boxes with balconies above the two lower levels because they are set back, but it is the most horrible architecture, if one can use that word for it, one could imagine for that location at historic Kings Square and next to a beautiful old building to the west of it.

For this disrespectful architecture we should open up the stocks at the Roundhouse again, so those who ‘designed’ the disgraceful proposal can get some appreciation of the beauty and heritage of Fremantle.

The proposed building is cheap, ugly, unacceptable and shows absolute disregard for what Fremantle is about!

Stop ugly development now, City of Fremantle, or you will have a riot on your hands!

Please do put your submissions against this unacceptable development in writing to the City of Fremantle by October 6. We can not tolerate this ugliness in the centre of our city. The plans are available for viewing at the reception desk at COF, so don’t take my word for it but get enraged yourselves when you see them.

Heritage Council page for the building

Adelaide St is one of the earliest streets of Fremantle, appearing in the 1833 survey. It is named for Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV.
In 1885 there was a five room cottage located on Lot 331, owned and occupied by Joseph James Clarke, a carpenter. Two years later the cottage was owned and occupied by David Francisco, a gentleman. In 1888 the Fremantle rate books record Lot 331 as having two shops with rooms and a cottage. David Francisco owned all three and resided in the cottage. One of the shops was occupied by F W Ross, a commercial traveler and the other by Richard W. Woods, a shopkeeper. Francisco retained ownership and was the occupant of the cottage in 1890. However, the tenants of the shops and rooms had changed to John Harretly, a butcher and Sam An, who was described as a Chinaman and a shopkeeper.
By 1895 ownership had changed to Mrs David Francisco, a widow, who also occupied the cottage and the tenants were William Henry Llewllyn, a produce merchant and Sam Wah, who was also described as a Chinaman and was a shopkeeper. In 1900 the only change to the owner/occupiers was that Llewllyn was no longer a tenant and that William Bros Tailors occupied one of the shop and rooms. In 1905/06 no changes had been to the owner or the occupants. There was no mention of a cottage on the Lot and the building was known as 13-15 Adelaide Street. In 1910/11 the owner was Margaret Ann Francisco. Shop 13 which also included rooms was occupied by Harry Wilson, an auctioneer. Shop 15 was owned by War Kee Wing, a storekeeper and included rooms and stables.
By 1915/16 the shops were owned individually. Shop 13 was owned by Miss Marion Louisa Clarke and occupied by William Popa. In 1920/21 the Buffalo Club occupied a room upstairs at shop 13. Marion owned Shop 13 until her death in the mid1930s when ownership transferred to Joseph and Levi Baker, butchers. The Baker Bros had been Marion’s tenants. By 1945/46 ownership had changed to the Estate of Joseph and Levi Baker and the occupant was J. L. Baker Pty Ltd.
Elizabeth Loxton had become the owner of Shop 15 by 1915/16 and she had two tenants in 1915/16; Chin Lee, greengrocer, and J. Noseda. Elizabeth was still the owner of Shop 15 in 1951/52 and she had many tenants including Arthur Noseda, a pastry cook (1925/26), James Black, tea rooms (1930/31), Samuel Gunsberg, greengrocer (circa 1940 - 1949).
In the mid-1930s Shop 15 changed to 22 Adelaide Street and Shop 13 to 18 Adelaide Street.
In February 1985, 18 Adelaide Street sold for a record $325,000. Before the sale it was a butchers and in October 1985 Carvel Ice Cream opened in the building.
The Fremantle Herald, dated 11.03.1991, reported that the Fremantle Hospital had received a surprise gift. The gift was one ‘of the city’s most prominent buildings’ which had been bequeathed by Mrs Loxton who died in 1919 (this information differs to the ratebooks). A condition of her will was that if her two daughters died childless then 22 Adelaide Street would go to the hospital. Hospital board chairman Bill Latter welcomed the bequest and said that the money raised would be used for aged and people with disabilities as Mrs Loxton had requested.
22 Adelaide Street is now occupied by Mills Records. The place is on Lot 1 of FTL 331 - 331 pt 2.
This place was identified in the "Heritage Report on 19th century limestone walls and steps in Fremantle" prepared by Silvana Grassadonia, for the City of Fremantle, 1986.
Statement of Significance
The place is a modest example of a commercial building dating from the first decades of the twentieth century that forms part of a group of similar places and makes a contribution to the Fremantle Town Centre streetscape.
Physical Description
Two storey tuck pointed brick and rendered building has engaged pilasters extending through to the parapet and an iron roof. There are multi paned timber framed casement windows to the first floor. No. 18 has the tuck pointing and brickwork with rendered detailing and no. 20 has been painted. Shop fronts and awning not the original.

Fremantle Society emails to members


You Must Read This
Extraordinarily, council officers have recommended approval of five storeys adjacent to Atwell Arcade and facing into King's Square (opposite St Johns and the Town Hall at 18-22 Adelaide Street).
In 25 years of living in the historic centre of Fremantle, I have never seen so much serious damage to the heritage values of the town in such a short period of time.
There is indeed a tsunami of disgraceful decisions coming from council. Disgraceful.
The justification given for approval in this case is disingenuous and contrived,
17 submissions were made, all against the proposal.
The Fremantle Society will be working very hard to show that this development should not be approved in its current form and will offer a precedent for other damaging developments on the square.
It took two letters from the Fremantle Society to get council to even advertise this as a significant application, which it clearly is.
It is distressing dealing with the current flow of development proposals which are generally so negative towards established quality streetscapes, as we wish to put our expertise to better use.
But members surely can no longer sit back and allow the tsunami to continue. Please take action. We will get back to you with our analysis well before next Wednesday's planning meeting at 6pm.

John Dowson
7 January 2016

[Council will vote on this recommendation Wednesday 11 January.]

5 Storey proposal sent back for more work

The mayor is away on a bicycle trip and the councillors at the planning meeting last night came out strongly against the quality of the proposed 5 storey block of  'tourist accommodation'  proposed for 18-22 Adelaide Street opposite King's Square. This is yet another of the many chicken coop developments rushing into town to provide an experience for tourists of living in a tiny box.
The Fremantle Society has put an enormous amount of time into this issue because 18-22 Adelaide Street is such a bad development, and will set a precedent that will be demanded elsewhere.
Ian Molyneux, the former Chairman of the Heritage Council and former Fremantle City Architect needs to be thanked in particular for the extraordinary amount of time he has put into this. He understands the ramifications, not just for that section of Adelaide Street but for the whole of King's Square and the rest of the historic town. He took part in three meetings that went till 2.30am and one which went to 3am. The council reports were so specious and the information required to make an assessment so difficult to find that it took days to assess the officer's report.
The council officers, the council heritage officers, the Heritage Council, Palassis Architects employed by the developer, and the DAC,  all said the development could proceed. But the councillors with the mayor absent said it could not.
This extraordinary circumstance shows why the Fremantle Society feels the council is developer led and needs investigation.
Deputy Mayor Coggin was filling in for the mayor and said how this was a 'fascinating' item. He extolled the many new developments in Fremantle, omitting to say that most of them are oversized and of poor quality. He said when he will be sitting on the grass banks of his new $50 million administration centre which we cannot afford, he doesnt want his view spoiled by anything too out of character like a new 17 metre five storey building in Adelaide Street. However, when he looks right from his grassy knoll, he will have to crane his head to see the top of the 28.1 metre Queensgate replacement he has approved.
Cr Naber spoke to thank the Fremantle Society, who is asking for his resignation, for coming and speaking.
Councillors unanimously voted for a deferral put by Cr Stachan, who chaired the meeting well, and it remains to be seen if the multitude of problems with this development can be massaged into shape or whether the developer will go to SAT with it.
Apparently as he left,  the developer was heard muttering that living in Fremantle was like living in Italy under Mussolini. He and his architect in their presentation had not waxed lyrical about their proposal but instead chose to complain about having to pay 1% fee for public art  when 'he was already improving the streetscape with this 5 storey box'.
The photograph (detail provided by Fremantle Ports of Battye image) is instructive. The 1933 view shows the range of two storey buildings (one being one storey - where the 2 storey featuristic ANZ bank now stands) along the western wall of King's Square. Today is is a valuable intact heritage streetscape and must not be  marred with new boxes rising above it.

Stephen Pollock, 'Five-storey hotel gets knocked back', Fremantle Herald, 14 January 2106.

PLANS for a five-storey hotel across the road from Kings Square suffered a major setback this week.
The landlord of 18-22 Adelaide Street (best known as the home of Mills Records) wants to spend $3.25 million redeveloping the building into short-stay accommodation with retail on the ground floor.
But on Wednesday Fremantle council’s planning committee voted unanimously to defer the application over concerns about height, amenity and setback. Staff had recommended a conditional approval.
Residents from the Woodsons building at the rear of the site were fuming the planned building would only be setback 1.2 metres in places, blocking their light and views.
“The least the developer can do is paint the wall bright green or yellow so I will have a nice view,” quipped resident Peter McLeen.
“I might be able to reach out my window and touch the building soon.”
Cr Hannah Fitzhardinge said the $220 million King Square development was about to go ahead and any five-storey development nearby had to be of the highest standard.
“This sends a clear message that if you want to develop  in Kings Square it has to be beautiful, as this is the centrepiece of Fremantle,” she says.
“I’m concerned about the height and the impact on the residents living behind.
“We don’t want people living in the dark.”
Architect Ross McDonald argued his client shouldn’t have to cough up $32,500 for a public artwork, under the city’s per cent per art scheme.
“My client is already planning to spend around $250,000 on heritage works at the site, which will vastly improve the building,” he says.
“We feel it is unfair to have contribute more on top of that.
“We have spent 10 months liaising with council and heritage bodies on this proposal which would be sympathetic to the surroundings and an improvement on what is already there.”

References and Links

Stephen Pollock, 'Mills to Go?' Fremantle Herald, 30 September 2016 - as above, including two images

Stephen Pollock, 'Five-storey hotel gets knocked back', Fremantle Herald, 14 January 2106.

Brendan Foster, 'Is this the final spin for cherished Fremantle record store?' WAToday, 29 sept 2016.

Heritage Council page for this building

Photos in Roel Loopers' post by Roel Loopers. Thanks for the images and the two posts.

Two images from Google, top and middle, acknowledged.

Garry Gillard | New: 26 September, 2016 | Now: 22 April, 2020