Fremantle Stuff > buildings > Pumping Station

Pumping Station

1 Elder Place, 1912

The building on the corner of Market Street and Elder Place is a Pumping Station and (very closed) toilets.

As a consequence of the rapidly expanding population during the goldrush, Fremantle was provided with a reticulated water supply in 1898. This pumping station was completed in 1913. Later, the building was converted for use as public toilets - now very closed.

There may be machinery or whatever inside the building, but if it's not still needed for pumping it could be a tourist information centre (with functional toilets), as it's the first building visitors see when arriving by train, and one of the first if they come by ship and walk into town.


The pumping station in the afternoon sun, with a perhaps homeless man doing a word puzzle, and the Taylor Memorial Fountain in the right foreground. The Railway Station is in the background, behind the buses.

The sign says that only Water Corporation vehicles can park in front of the building, suggesting that it is still used for water supply purposes.

pumping station

Fremantle Library Local History Collection photo #4116, 1913. Jack Lyons, sign writer and decorator, is painting the Pumping Station and public toilets in Market Street, near the Railway Station. The building was erected in 1912.


There are toilets on the eastern side, but they have been closed for a very long time.

Heritage Council description

Elder Place was originally named Bay St, derived from the street encircling Shoal Bay on the north of Willis/Ferry Point. The Council renamed a portion of the street Elder Place in 1926, after the company Elder, Smith & Co who had a warehouse in the street. The Water Board Pumping Station and Toilets were built in 1913.
Physical Description
Single storey rendered and terracotta tiled hipped roof with a decorative half timbered gable. The roof extends over the veranda on one and half sides and is supported by large masonry pillars. Within the veranda; 'W. S. D. 1913' appears in stucco above the main double door entrance.
Statement of Significance
The place has historic and aesthetic significance as a fine example of a small public building in the Federation Arts and Crafts style constructed as part of the water supply and deep sewerage systems service to Perth and Fremantle developed by the Government of Western Australia.


WSD over the main door: Water and Sewerage Dept, I guess. You can almost read the sign that says the toilets are closed - on the seriously barred gate on the right.

References and Links

Heritage Council entry for the Pumping Station

Garry Gillard | New: 19 July, 2016 | Now: 20 February, 2020