TOWN HALL:
CONSERVATION &
MANAGEMENT
PLAN 2004




1.0
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
1.1
HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE PLACE
Documentary Evidence is intended to develop the history of the place insofar
as it affects the fabric of the Fremantle Town Hall to assist with the
interpretation of the physical evidence, evaluate significance and, ultimately, to
assist in the development of the Conservation Policy.
Fremantle Town Hall comprises a two-storey and three storey stucco finished
and iron roofed auditorium and former council offices in the Victorian Free
Classical style.1 The Administration building and former Exhibition Hall are not
included in this conservation plan, although reference is made to it from time to
time. Since the completion of the 1986 works, the pair of buildings was re-
named the Town Hall Centre.
The Documentary Evidence traces the history of Fremantle Town Hall and the
main section of evidence is contained in Fremantle Town Hall Conservation
Analysis and Plan 1985. The evidence in this section of the report is confined
to new evidence not previously contained in the 1985 report, and to material
evidence of the years following 1985, when significant work was undertaken.
1.1.1
Background:
For a brief background to the development of King’s Square, the original
Victorian Georgian style St John’s Church in the centre of the Square, refer to
the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985, History of the
Town Hall Complex Existing Buildings, sections A2.1-2.2.
1.1.2
Additional documentary evidence not included in the 1985 report
This section of the report contains information that has come to light since the
first study was completed, together with a summary of the documentary
evidence of significant matters that have occurred since and have a material
bearing on recommendations for further conservation.
Reference should be made to the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis
and Plan 1985, sections A1-A6.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Page 2
Photograph 1
View of the Town Hall from High Street, c.1895. Courtesy Old
Fremantle, p117
In 1895, J. Ross Anderson redecorated the Mayor’s Parlour and in 1896
Ashton and Badham had installed a decorative paint finish in the supper room.2
In the documentation that was prepared for the first conservation plan, there
was no mention found of the elaborate painted decorative treatments found in a
number of locations in the Town Hall during physical investigations. Further
documentary research revealed that Council voted to make a number of
improvements in 1897 including enlarging the stage and implementing a
balcony over High Street. More importantly five painters submitted tenders for
decorating the Town Hall. In 1898, J. Craig was awarded the tender to paint
the auditorium, but was it seems likely that he was asked to execute the design
of J. Ross Anderson. On completion, the decorative work was applauded in
the press.3
1
Apperly, R., Irving, R., Reynolds, P. A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture.
Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present, Angus and Roberston, North Ryde, 1989. pp 104-
107.
2
Cramer, Debby, ‘Historical investigation of painted decoration, Fremantle Town Hall, Report
Findings, May 1987., p.2 and 3.
3
Western Mail 15 July 1898.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 3
Photograph 2
View of the Town Hall showing balcony, c. 1898. Courtesy
Fremantle Local History Library 541
Photograph 3
View of High Street and the Town Hall during the construction
of tramlines, c.1905. Courtesy ‘Old Fremantle’, p117
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 4
Photograph 4
Photograph of the 1905 opening of the tramlines outside the
Town Hall, showing a detailed view of the balcony. Courtesy
Fremantle Local History Library 826
Photograph
5
View of High Street with the Town Hall and balcony on the left,
c. 1906. Courtesy Fremantle Local History Library 541
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 5
Photograph
6
Photograph of the Town Hall, when it showed Vic’s Pictures, c.
1910. Courtesy ‘Old Fremantle’, p111
Photograph 7
View of the Town Hall, c. 1950. Courtesy ‘Fremantle Town Hall,
1887-1987’, p 40
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 6
Photograph 8
Aerial view of Fremantle, showing the Town Hall, c.
1957.
Courtesy ‘Old Fremantle’, p137
Photograph
9
Aerial view of Fremantle, showing the Town Hall, Administration
Building and Exhibition Hall c. 1971. The King’s Square section of
High Street had been closed to traffic at this time, and three fountains
were erected in the new public space. Courtesy ‘Fremantle Town Hall,
1887-1987’, p 51
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 7
In September 1983, the Bond syndicate’s Australia II won the 12-metre yacht
race, the America’s Cup. The event was first run in 1851 and had been won
by craft from the United States of America in all races until 1983.4
Following the victory, it was announced that the defence of the America’s Cup
would take place commencing in October 1986 and be based in Fremantle,
with the final match races taking place in the summer of 1987. It was realised
that hosting the defence of the title would have a major impact on Fremantle,
posing significant challenges for the City’s infrastructure, and also offering
some significant long term benefits for the community.
Amongst the places that were identified as having to respond to pressure and
to which a long-term benefit might accrue was the Fremantle Town Hall. In the
course of 1984, Jeremy Dawkins, the Manager of Planning and Development,
and Philip Griffiths of Considine and Griffiths Architects considered some ways
in which the place might be adapted to accommodate new needs and to
improve the way in which services might be delivered. To assist with the
planning process and to guide conservation and development, Philip Griffiths
prepared Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan, which
commissioned in December 1984 and completed in April 1985.5 The work
covered the original town hall buildings and the adjoining civic administration
and exhibition hall buildings.6
Within a similar timeframe, some thought was given to the adaptation of the
place, and schematic designs were prepared by Considine and Griffiths
Architects to explore options and the solutions were worked through with the
City’s senior planning staff. The scope included the Town Hall, Administration
Building and Exhibition Building. The development of King’s Square (then
known as St. John’s Square) was also considered in the concept. All aspects
of the concepts were explored in the process, with reports on acoustics,
staging and backstage facilities, catering, mechanical services, electrical
services and communications, and the proposals were costed.7 Early cost
indications showed that about $4.9m would be required to implement the
recommendations.8
4
http://cbs.sportsline.com/sailing/americascup/history
5
City of Fremantle letter of commission 17 December 1984 ref 3.37.99.
6
Following completion of the work, the combined complex was re-named the Town Hall Centre.
7
Detailed reports on various aspects of the proposal are contain in the appendicies of City
Square and City Government During the America’s Cup, 1985
8
Notes of a meeting 26 May 1985 with the project team and David Tripp of Ina Silver Partnership,
quantity surveyors.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 8
The preliminary work culminated in the report City Square and City
Government During the America’s Cup, which was completed in April 1985
also. 9
Funding for America’s Cup related projects was made available from Council’s
resources, Federal and State Government resources and through employment
programmes. Having identified what needed doing, funding packages and
justifications for the packages were prepared so that specific costs and needs
could be isolated. The program was ambitious and the costs associated with
the full range of recommendations, in 1985 values, were $5.7m.10
The full funding for delivering the whole of the recommended works was not
obtained and a revised budget and scope of works settled on.
As time was beginning to become a factor and the documentation of the works
was likely to be protracted, construction management was chosen as the
means of procuring the work. On June 22, 1985, an advertisement was
placed for the registration of interest of a construction manager to look after the
implementation of the works.11
On 25 June 1985, it was agreed that the total budget for works to the City
Square and Town Hall complex should be $4.2m during a meeting of the
project steering committee and consultants, but this figure was subsequently
amended to $3.3m for conservation of the Town Hall and adaptation of the
Town Hall Centre, and a total of $4.136m for the project overall.12 A planning
approval for the work was issued by the City of Fremantle on 27 June 1985.
On July 1, 1985 the scope of works was agreed and summarised in
correspondence. The works included upgrading the basement, air conditioning,
lighting, proscenium arch, increase of the working area of the stage, acoustics
and decorative treatments to the auditorium, tiling to the courtyard floor, re
roofing, upgrading the perimeter rooms, reinstatement of the William Street
stairs and general painting and repairs.13
Tenders for a construction manager closed on 29 July 1985, six were received
and two considered for the project, Arnold Doubikin Pty Ltd and Concrete
Constructions Ltd. The latter were chosen.14 Council agreed to Concrete
9
The council was represented by Jeremy Dawkins, Director of Planning and Development and
Agnieshka Kiera, City Architect, and both Jeffrey Considine and Philip Griffiths provided the
main professional advice on behalf of the consultant team.
10
City Square and City Government During the America’s Cup, p105.
11
The Western Australian 22 June 1985, p. 144.
12
Considine and Griffiths meeting notes 84108.1, 25 June 1985, p. 2.
13
Correspondence from Considine and Griffiths to City of Fremantle 1 July 1985.
14
Correspondence from Considine and Griffiths to City of Fremantle 29 July 1985
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 9
Construction’s appointment and a contract was entered into in August 1985 on
the basis of a fixed fee of $90,000, plus reimbursables and 3% of the value of
the work over $3.3m.15 Although much effort was put into the notion of
upgrading the auditorium to theatre standards, the budget constraints meant
that this aspect of the concept was not implemented. Amongst the features not
realised were: -
A mechanised apron stage
Mechanised raking floors for the auditorium
A fly tower
Miscellaneous back stage facilities such as a green room, laundry,
change rooms, showers, dressing rooms and the like.16
Design work was finalised in the course of September 1985 and demolition
work commenced.17 Design work for St. John’s Square was taken over by the
City of Fremantle, but documentation for all of the works was by Considine and
Griffiths.
The construction management team initially comprised Tim Strahan, Sandy
Buchan and Bruce McCaw of Concrete Constructions, but Strahan relocated
to Sydney early in the project and Chris Holmes became construction
manager, with John Standley joining Bruce McCaw as site manager. The
target was to complete the majority of the work by October 1986.
A contract to provide professional services for the implementation of the works
was not signed until 31 December 1985, well into the period after designs were
developed.18 The consultant team comprised Considine and Griffiths Architects
Pty Ltd, Van der Meer and Associates (structural engineers), Ian Silver
partnership (quantity surveyors), Norman Disney and Young (mechanical,
electrical and communications engineers), R & J Martin (hydraulics), John
Toussaint (theatre), and Building management Authority (acoustics).
15
Meeting of the Town Hall and St. John the Evangilist Anglican Church’s Square Redevelopment
Committee, 31 July 1985.
16
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd letter and report to City of Fremantle 20 August 1985.
17
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd letters and reports to City of Fremantle 5, 12 and 25
September 1985.
18
Contract between the City of Fremantle and Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, dated 31
December 1985, p.2.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 10
1.1.3
Documentary evidence of the post 1985 period
By January 1986, works were well under way and a number of additional items
were incorporated into a revised scope of work, including the enclosure of the
Town Hall courtyard, and repairs to the clock and stage curtains, together with
a range of tasks relating to the Exhibition Hall and Civic Administration.19
In April 1986, investigations of the decorative painting work were undertaken to
examine the decorative treatments through time. Stencilling, pin lining, and gold
leaf work was revealed and the marginal cost of reinstating the majority of this
work in the auditorium established at $70,000. 20
In June 1986 archaeologist Jack McIlroy carried out a documentary and
physical research program to locate the original St. John the Evangelist
Anglican Church profile in the High Street alignment north of the Exhibition
Hall.21
Photograph 1 0
View of the auditorium following the 1986 conservation works,
showing the restored ornate paintwork. Considine and Griffiths
Architects 1986
19
A report prepared by Considine and Griffiths dated 30 January 1986 formed the basis for
decision-making on the revised scope.
20
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd letter to City of Fremantle 3 April 1986.
21
St. John the Evangilist Anglican Church’s Square Test Excavations J. McIlroy, June 1985.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 11
On 19 October 1986, the still incomplete Town Hall auditorium was hastily
prepared for the annual Blessing of the Fleet festival following the city’s
resolution to host the dinner event in July.22 Notwithstanding the fact that the
auditorium was still a building site, the event was successfully concluded.
On 16 November 1986, the Prime Minister Hon R. J. L. Hawke A.C. M.P.
officially opened the conserved Fremantle Town Hall. Work was substantially
complete by this time and operations were scaled down and the outstanding
work duly completed by 10 March 1987.
In the period following the major works a number of smaller projects have been
undertaken including the provision of access for the disabled, and re-painting
of the Town Hall exterior.
Photograph 1 1
View of the courtyard area, showing the glazed roof constructed
during the 1986 works. Considine and Griffiths Architects 1986
22
City of Fremantle Town Hall and St. John the Evangilist Anglican Church’s Square Occasional
Committee meeting 25 July 1986, p.8.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 12
1.1.3
Vision for the future
In 2003, a brief was developed for a review of the Fremantle Town Hall
Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985. The review was planned to update the
earlier plan to reflect subsequent works. It was also designed to catalogue and
reiterate unrealised relevant recommendations from previous work, to look at a
range of access and presentation issues to make the place more attractive
and useful, and then to prioritise the recommendations in a logical order with
some notions of cost for implementation. It was considered that the
recommendations should be specific and prescriptive to assist with
implementation in the near future, as funds permit.
1.2
PEOPLE ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLACE
Refer to Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985.
1.3
REGISTRATIONS
In 2000, Fremantle Town Hall was included in the City of Fremantle’s Municipal
Heritage Inventory, with a recommendation for inclusion in the Register of
Heritage Places.
It was included in the Register of the National Estate on a permanent basis in
1978 and Classified by the National Trust of Australia in 1974.
In 1992 it was included in the Heritage Council’s Register of Heritage Places on
an interim basis and on a permanent basis in 1993.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 13
2.0
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
The aim of this section of the Conservation and Management Plan is to
examine the context of the place in its setting, to describe the current function
of the place, to describe the fabric, including the surviving original fabric, and to
identify evidence of change to the structure, earlier finishes and decorative
details. Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985 contains
detailed descriptions of the place prior to the conservation works being
undertaken. The focus of the conservation plan is the Town Hall, with the
Town Hall Centre and King’s Square excluded from the present study.
2.1
CONTEXT OF THE PLACE AND ITS PARTS WITHIN ITS SETTING
Location
Refer to Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985.
Fremantle Town Hall is located in King’s Square, at the eastern end of the main
retail heart of the City.
Urban context
Refer to Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985.
Since the conservation plan was completed, there has been some
development in the surrounding streets and what was St. John’s Square has
undergone a major upgrade and has reverted to its original name, King’s
Square. The majority of this work was undertaken at the same time as the
major works to the Town Hall.
Building changes in the immediate surrounds include the upgrade of the
Exhibition Hall, Administration Building and Library to produce more interactive
facades, as was the case in 1985, together with a large balcony and stair to
the east end of the assembly of buildings, providing after hours access to the
council’s civic rooms. An arcade has been pushed through these buildings to
create a more permeable set of places. This complex is currently known as
the Fremantle Town Hall Centre.
In the wider context, buildings such as the Federal Hotel have been upgraded
and verandahs reconstructed, and the major cinema complex on the corner of
Newman and William streets has replaced the former low rise Coles
supermarket.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 14
Figure 1
Fremantle Town Hall Site Plan. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 15
Figure
2
Fremantle Town Hall, Basement Plan. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 16
Figure
3
Fremantle Town Hall, Ground Floor Plan. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 17
Figure 4
Fremantle Town Hall, First Floor Plan. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 18
Figure
5
Fremantle Town Hall, Second Floor Plan. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 19
TO BE INSERTED
Figure 6
Fremantle Town Hall, High Street Elevation. Considine & Griffiths Architects,
March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 20
TO BE INSERTED
Figure 7
Fremantle Town Hall, William Street Elevation. Considine & Griffiths Architects,
March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 21
TO BE INSERTED
Figure 8
Fremantle Town Hall, Tower Elevation. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 22
TO BE INSERTED
Figure
9
Fremantle Town Hall, Section. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 23
TO BE INSERTED
Figure
10
Fremantle Town Hall, Section. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 24
Photograph
12
Aerial view of Fremantle Town Hall in context. North runs up the photograph.
Courtesy City of Fremantle.
Land and topography
The land on which the Fremantle Town Hall is located comprises Lot 4 on Plan
11 contained in Certificate of Title 59/40. The site of Fremantle Town Hall and
King’s Square is almost flat.
Siting
The Fremantle Town Hall site was chosen for its prominence in the context of
a consolidating town. Located on the north-west corner of the square, the
Town Hall was set off the axis on which the first St. John the Evangelist
Anglican Church had been situated. This allowed High Street to continue
through the square on a long axis from the Round House (old Fremantle Gaol).
In due course Council buildings built between 1900 and 1929 filled the whole of
the south side of the High Street axis. The present administration buildings in
turn replaced these. The Town Hall remains the dominant feature in the
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 25
Square, with the fine St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church and much later
council buildings playing a subservient visual role. With the passage of time,
the mature Port Jackson Fig Trees (Ficus rubiginosa) have become a
significant part of the setting.
Views to the place
When originally conceived, Fremantle Town Hall, an urban building in an urban
setting, and the new St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, set in an open
green space, were divided by the new extension to High Street. The Town Hall
was a civic symbol at the head of the commercial section of High Street. The
spire of the Town Hall could be seen from many places in the City.
The prominence of the Town Hall remains and there are significant views of the
place from many elevated points around the City. However, in the immediate
context, a number of tree canopies obscure large segments of the building.
A set of flagpoles at the eastern end of High Street in King’s Square provide an
entry statement on this axis and frame the view to the buildings beyond.
Historically, the roof of the Town Hall clock tower was a popular place for
photographers to record the progress of the City with panoramic photographs.
The views from the clock tower over the City are still available and are
spectacular.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 26
Photograph 1 3
Fremantle Town Hall viewed from Henderson Street along William Street.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph 1 4
The junction between the Town Hall and Town Hall Centre. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 27
Photograph
15
Fremantle Town Hall viewed from High Street showing traffic calming to the
road junction and the large canopies of the Fig Trees beyond. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph
16
A view down High Street, looking west. The large Fig Tree canopies obscure
parts of the Town Hall and the vista to the Round House at the west end of High
Street. Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 28
Views from the place
The place was constructed with high windows sills and views from it were not
considered to be important. A balcony added to the High Street elevation was
a short lived vantage point from which views across King’s Square and along
High Street might be had by the public. The view from the clock tower was
restricted to those allowed to have access to it and to photographers as
previously noted.
Landscape setting
The landscape setting has altered significantly since the Fremantle Town Hall
Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985 was prepared, so that a new description
of the setting follows.
The landscape setting divides into a number of zones that are visually distinct,
and for convenience, the description is divided up into these areas. There are
two landscape themes running in the context of the Town Hall and these
comprise the predominantly hard landscape of William Street, Adelaide Street,
and the entrance to the Town Hall and Town Hall Centre arcade, the mixed
hard and soft landscaping that provides the foreground to the Town Hall and
St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church at the eastern end of King’s Square.
(i) The William Street, Adelaide Street and Town Hall Entrance Zone
William and Adelaide Streets are one-way roads paved with bitumen, with
barrier kerbs and parallel parking. The junction of High Street at the point of
intersection with these two roads has a vertical displacement device as traffic
calming and is paved to give pedestrians priority. The distinction between the
road and pedestrian priority zones is drawn by a ground beam and unit paving,
with a series of reproduction concrete bollards to assist in defining the
difference between the pedestrian zone and priority zone. Novalux style
streetlights with mercury vapour luminaires are arranged around the edge of
the zone and there is direction signage in the City’s adopted graphic style.
William Street has a barrier kerb, concrete interlocking brick pavers and a
series of panels in differing pavings. The narrow path leads around into what
was Newman Street and the open brick paved area that provides a forecourt
to the Town Hall Centre. There are parking signs, a mail post box, and
streetlights along the pavement edge. The path is so narrow that it provides
little crush space outside the William Street exit to the Town Hall.
The junction between Town Hall and Town Hall Centre is awkward and visually
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 29
unattractive. A mature and poorly shaped Poplar (Populus alba) partly fills the
space. There are several London Planes (Platinus x. acerfolia) and a Canary
Island Palm (Phoenix canariensis). The space is quite stark, with the trees
providing relief and shade.
The King’s Square side of the Town Hall is fully paved along the High Street
alignment with a combination of concrete sets and 400 x 400mm paving slabs.
The site of the first St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church is marked out with
concrete sets and an interpretive plaque is fixed to the slabs. A series of
timber construction park benches is arranged along the axis, together with
trees in large concrete tubs. The overall effect detracts from the presentation
of the Town Hall entrance area.
At the High Street and Adelaide Street junction, there is a large and somewhat
misshapen Rottnest Island Ti Tree (Melaleuca lanceolata). The triangle
between High and Adelaide Streets and St Johns Church is partly paved, has a
small amount of grass, and a number of raised mulched beds that are built up
around the bases of some mature Port Jackson Figs (Ficus rubiginosa).
Other plantings include several Canary Island Palms. The paving is laid in a
pattern with sets dividing up areas of square unit pavers. There is a
chessboard area paved with black and white marble on the north side of the
High Street axis.
As well as a cluster of telephone boxes, there is street lighting and parking
control signage. More importantly there is the relocated Tom Edwards
Memorial on the Adelaide Street frontage and a public artwork set back off the
road alignments, and this takes the form of a table and pair of benches with
chess boards let into the table top. The piece is by Coral Lowry and was
installed in 1995.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 30
Photograph
17
The view from Adelaide Street showing the Lowry’s artwork, seating around
the fig trees, chess board to the right, and the Town Hall and Town Hall
Centre beyond. Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph
18
Tom Edwards’s memorial facing
onto Adelaide Street. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 31
Photograph
19
St Johns Church, chessboard and
the raised beds around the Fig
Trees. Considine and Griffiths
Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph
20
Telephone boxes on the corner of
Adelaide and High Streets against
a screen of Rottnest island Ti
Trees. Considine and Griffiths
Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph
21
Timber seats and concrete planters
against the High Street façade of
the Town Hall. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
Photograph
22
View of the Town Hall Centre with
the Town Hall beyond, and
plantings of London Plane and
Poplar. Considine and Griffiths
Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 32
Photograph
23
The Town Hall Centre and Town
Hall junction, with the stage door
installed as part of the
1985-6
works. Considine and Griffiths
Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004
Photograph
24
Standard pattern benches and
paving used in King’s Square.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty
Ltd, March 2004
ii) Eastern end of King’s Square
The eastern end of King’s Square comprises the High Street axis, a
predominantly green open space to the north of it, with large Fig Trees and St
John’s Evangelical Church providing a backdrop, and the eastern end of the
Fremantle Town Hall centre on the south of the axis. In this part of the setting,
the eastern balcony is a prominent feature on the approach to the Town Hall.
Banner poles, paving, grass, raised walls around Fig Trees, and trees are the
prominent features of this part of the setting.
Plantings comprise Port Jackson Fig Trees (Ficus rubiginosa) on the north
side of High Street and Queensland Box Trees (Lephostemon conferta) on the
south side of High Street.
The same paving theme as that used in the western portion of the square runs
through the eastern end. There is predominance of green over hard
landscaping.
Other features in this part of the setting include the life sized statue of Pietro
Porcelli by Greg James 1993 in the north-east corner of the square, and the
larger than life size statue of Air Commodore Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards by
Andrew Kay in 2002, while St John’s Evangelical Church remains the dominant
built form north of High Street.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 33
Photograph
25
The view from Queen Street along the High Street axis. The church, trees
and grassed areas are an important part of this approach to the Town Hall.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph
26
Commodore Edwards by Andrew Kay
2002 Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty
Ltd, March 2004
Photograph
27
Informal planting and seating at the east
end of King’s Square. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 34
Photograph
28
Pietro Porcelli by Greg James
1993.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd,
March 2004
Photograph
29
St John the Evangelist Anglican Church
1879 with the Town Hall beyond.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd,
March 2004
2.2
CURRENT FUNCTION OF THE PLACE
Fremantle Town Hall is not fully used and many of the functions that it does
perform are detrimental to the place in terms of conservation and building
safety. Its full use for public purposes is somewhat inhibited by its inability to
meet current standards for public access and the low level of servicing
available in rooms other than the auditorium.
The Auditorium and stage are used for their traditional functions including
speech, music, dance, dinners, weddings, and other forms of celebration and
ceremony. The former supper room provides space for food preparation. The
former open court was enclosed and repaved as part of the
1985-6
conservation and adaptation works. The court now performs a variety of
functions, such as a pre-function space, assembling space at performance
intervals, and other occasional uses. The surrounding ground floor spaces are
used for offices, meeting rooms and storage.
The first floor level rooms are used for offices, staff amenities and for storage,
while the former Council chamber is seldom used.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 35
The second floor level is in poor condition and is used only for storage.
Backstage change rooms are arranged on two levels to the rear of the stage
and work on these spaces was excluded from the conservation and adaptation
works. They are in very poor condition and appear not to be used much.
The basement level suffers from some damp and is only used for storage.
2.3
DESCRIPTION OF THE SURVIVING FABRIC AND FITTINGS
The inspection schedules should be referred to for a detailed analysis of each
component and space. The schedules deal with the condition, authenticity,
likely significance, and recommended future action for each component in each
space, together with some general comments on Conservation Works.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
Exterior Generally
Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan 1985 contains detailed
descriptions of the facades. Little has changed since those descriptions were
written, so that this section confines itself to the conspicuous changes that
have taken place since 1985, with the photographs in this section indicating the
appearance of the place in 2004.
William Street
The William Street elevation remains almost as described in 1985 with a few
important minor exceptions. A pair of tongue and grooved board faced doors
was introduced to the return elevation to allow direct access from the street to
the stage level, the asbestos cement roof was replaced with a zincalume finish
custom orb profile roof, tiled roof sections were repaired, a missing urn on the
parapet was replaced with a replica, cracks were repaired and masonry and
joinery was painted. The masonry has since been repainted with a cement
based paint and this finish is washing off. The joinery has been repainted once
more also. A number of tasks that were documented for the conservation
works were not completed, including the installation of number of new rainwater
heads and downpipes. The absence of these recommended works has
resulted in further deterioration of the surrounding fabric.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 36
Clock Tower
The clock tower was little altered by the 1985-6 conservation works. The clock
tower was repaired and painted, and the soffit was also repaired. Telephone
boxes were removed from around the entrance and a new opening plaque
added, as previously noted.
A number of minor works have adapted the entrance steps for disabled and
visually impaired access. These include forming a ramp to the north side of the
tower and providing tactile strips to the edges of the porch. These changes are
visually intrusive.
High Street
Many of the tasks performed on the William Street elevation were also carried
out on the High Street elevation. The major task however, related to the work
that was done to reverse the changes made by Clarke in 1898, when the High
Street balcony was added. During this work, the pediment over the doors had
been removed, windows turned into doors and two windows introduced
flanking the entrance doors. The balcony had been removed along with the
doors onto it, but the windows flanking the doors had remained and the
pediment had not been re-constructed. The 1985-6 works reversed all of
Clarke’s changes, other than leaving indentations that indicate the position of
Clarke’s doors at first floor level. A series of replacement flush doors that have
been put in at ground floor level were replaced with doors to match the original
Town Hall door patterns.
To the east of the Town Hall, a breezeblock screen wall was demolished and a
link building inserted. The building replaced a very generous stair with a more
utilitarian stair to gain some extra space for accommodation. The new section
was designed to be a transition between the Town Hall and the Exhibition Hall
to further east.
Roof
The sections of roof laid in Marseilles tiles were simply repaired in the 1985-6
works, but all of the asbestos cement roofing was removed and replaced, as
previously noted.
Most significantly, the central courtyard now has an irregular plan glazed roof,
mounted on a ventilated kerb that provides cover to the whole of the courtyard.
It is completed with a polycarbonate cap to take up the irregular shape of the
plan. The structure for the courtyard roof is braced back to the auditorium wall
with a series of steel braces.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 37
Photograph 3 0
The William Street elevations from street level. Considine and Griffiths
Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph 3 1
View of the clock tower from High Street. Considine and Griffiths Architects
Pty Ltd, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 38
Photograph 3 2
Disabled access provisions on the south side of the clock tower porch.
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
Photograph 3 3
The High Street elevation. Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 39
Photograph
34
The High Street elevation showing the link building to the east of the Town
Hall and the former Exhibition Hall. Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd,
March 2004.
Photograph
35
The junction between the Town Hall and Town Hall Centre. Considine and
Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 40
Interior
The interior descriptions are confined to the original building envelope and to
those parts attached to it. Other buildings on the site do not require analysis.
Basement
The basement is located under the stage area of the auditorium and comprises
a passage that gives access to the exterior, basement rooms, courtyard, and
the under-stage area. It has concrete floors, painted masonry walls, and the
area under the stage is unlined. The soffit to the passage is lined with
plasterboard. There are stairs at both ends of the passage. The stage
construction comprises timber posts, beams, joists, and floorboards. Early
floorboards remain in the outer perimeter of the stage and the central area
consists of replacement boards. The original drawings of the Town Hall
indicate a curved cyclorama wall to the rear of the stage and fragments of this
construction can be seen in the basement. The front of the stage is fitted with
a return air grille and a hole has been made at the rear of the stage to create a
rising shaft for return air, which is connected to a plant room created at second
floor level within the stage enclosure.
Photograph
36
The passage under the stage, with the
indent to the right that was created by
the extension of the stage in 1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd,
March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 41
Photograph
37
The basement under the stage. The
stage floor was flattened in 1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd,
March 2004.
Ground Floor
The ground floor plan was determined by the triangular site and comprises the
dominant auditorium and clock tower, linked by two accommodation wings to
produce a triangular plan. Although designed to be an open courtyard, the
adaptation works completed in 1985-6 resulted in it being covered in and tiled
as previously noted.
The descriptions in the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan
1985 remain valid, with the following changes: -
The auditorium was air conditioned, windows to high street blocked in, new
switch controls installed, old vents removed, walls decorated in the style of
the original decorations, the old proscenium arch removed and a new one
constructed on a new alignment, and the stage front extended and squared
off.
Partitions were removed from G2, and rooms G2-5 were refurbished. The
openings between G2 and G3 were formalised with pairs of doors.
G5-10 were simply refurbished.
G11 was refurbished and a new suspended ceiling installed and after the
1985-6 works were completed, a part of the toilets was removed and a
unisex disabled toilet installed.
G12 was an open courtyard and garden with a concrete verandah around
the perimeter. This now has a glazed roof, with a concrete floor, finished
with tessellated tiles to a pattern that is evocative of the Federation period.
The area was repainted in the 1990s.
A staircase previously removed between the ground and first floor levels on
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 42
the William Street side of the building (G13) was reconstructed to match the
remaining section between the first and second floor, with a new store
created under it.
The kitchen, G15, was refurbished.
The supper room, G16, was retuned to its original size and refurbished.
The stage floor was lowered to eliminate the original sloping floor, and the
south-west corner extended to make the stage floor a rectangular shape
under the fly-grid.
Room G18 was separated from the supper room, as it had been originally,
and its floor raised to stage level, and a pair of doors introduced into the
south-east wall to operate as stage doors. Further, the stage and G18
were linked with a partial wall removal and the addition of a set of folding
doors to provide occasional separation.
G19-21 were omitted from the contract works and remain as previously
described, while G23 received a basic refurbishment and a new ceiling.
Photograph
38
The 1898 auditorium stair to the balcony, with
the 1985-6 reconstruction of the decorative
wall treatments.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 43
Photograph
39
The 1898 auditorium stair to the balcony, with
the 1985-6 reconstruction of the decorative
wall treatments looking west.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
Photograph
40
Doors introduced between G2 and G3 in
1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
Photograph
41
The modified lobby details from the 1930s
improvements.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 44
Photograph
42
The only surviving original fireplace and
surround in G 10.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
43
The remodelled courtyard. The upper
verandah details, roof and floors were part of
the 1985-6 work.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 45
Photograph
44
The staircase that was part of the 1985-6
work. The original had been removed and
this staircase was a reconstruction based on
physical evidence..
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
45
The kitchen was refurbished in the 1985-6
work.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
46
The supper room was divided from the room
to the south during the 1985-6 works and the
stage squared up, the latter resulting in the
protrusion to the left.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 46
Photograph
47
Room G18 was linked to the stage with this
set of folding doors.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
48
The stage change rooms remain as they were
prior to 1985.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
First Floor
The first floor plan generally follows the ground floor plan in terms of the
arrangement of rooms, with the exception of the auditorium, which has a
balcony.
The descriptions in the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan
1985 remain valid, with the following changes: -
• The auditorium balcony windows to high street were blocked with sound
absorption panels, the seating was refurbished, walls and ceilings decorated
in the style of the original decorations, a light trough cut into the ceiling, the
bio box removed and a new control desk position installed.
• Partitions were removed from F2 and F3 and replaced, and the entry
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 47
arrangements to F2 re-configured.
F4-7 were simply refurbished and re-painted.
No work was done to F9.
F10-11 were refurbished and the upper flight of the reconstructed stair
integrated into the existing landing.
F12 had minor modifications to the southern wall and then it was re-fitted out
to become a small kitchen.
F13 was refurbished.
A wall between F 14 and 15 was built up to remove a door in the southern
corner of the room, and a new opening made onto the verandah of F14 to
take account of the altered stage. Then a new opening was made on the
north side of the fireplace between rooms F14 and 15, and the north door
relocated in F15. Since the 1985-6 works were completed, a partition wall
has been introduced in F15.
F17-19 were omitted from the contract works and remain as previously
described, apart from the construction of a return air riser in F19.
Photograph
49
Acoustic treatments and control desk on
the balcony from 1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 48
Photograph
50
Refurbished balcony from 1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
51
F15 with the filled in wall to the left of the
fireplace and more recent partition to the
right.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
52
Refurbished room F14.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 49
Photograph
53
Refurbished room F14.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
54
Refurbished room F13.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 50
Photograph
55
The new staircase from 1985-6 to the left
and existing stair to the right.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Photograph
56
Alterations to room F2 from 1985-6.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 51
Photograph
57
F6 with the clock tower beyond. The paint
scheme is from 1985-6 and conceals an
early decorative finish.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004
Second Floor
The second floor plan comprises a staircase, landing, single sided corridor and
a series of five rooms that face on to William Street. At the rear of the stage, a
series of change rooms were removed and amalgamated to form a plant room
for the auditorium air conditioning.
The descriptions in the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan
1985 remain valid for the second floor, with the following changes: -
• The stage profile was altered.
• In rooms S4-11 fibro cement linings were removed and replaced with
plasterboard, and fretting plaster was removed and walls re-plastered, but
no changes were made to the planning.
• Toilets were removed to S12, a concrete floor installed and plant for the air
conditioning system installed. Ducting from the system was run at high level
into the ceiling space and ducts run to the boots of slot diffusers. The latter
are barely visible from the floor level.
• A light trough was cut into the ceiling, trusses repaired and walkways
improved.
• The clock tower S3 was cleaned out, access ladders improved and
handrails added. Davis Walter Timepieces conserve the clock.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 52
Photograph
58
The second floor level landing looking
south. Most of this area was thoroughly
refurbished in the 1985-6 works, but little
was changed.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
Photograph
59
The second floor level landing looking
north.
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, March
2004.
2.4
CONCLUSION
The review of physical evidence indicates that the underlying form and
planning of the Town Hall has changed very little through time, and that
changes have tended to be comparatively minor. External changes have
resulted in the loss of detail and some loss of authentic fabric. Internal changes
have been more significant, but not at the cost of a great deal of authentic
fabric.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 53
3.0
ANALYSIS OF DOCUMENTARY AND PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
GENERALLY
The process of Physical Evidence gathering in this review was confined to the
changes made since the Fremantle Town Hall Conservation Analysis and Plan
1985 was written.
The analysis of Documentary, Oral and Physical Evidence covers a brief
summary of the development sequence of the place, identifies issues that have
not been resolved by the research, and provides some comparative analysis.
3.1
DEVELOPMENT SEQUENCE OF THE FABRIC AND ITS RELATIONSHIP
TO THE SURVIVING FABRIC
The sequence of development of Fremantle Town Hall, as best as can be
ascertained is as follows: -
1877
Church of St. John the Evangelist offered part of King’s
Square to the Municipality for a new Town Hall.
1878
Site transferred to Municipality, title not changed until 1882.
1881
Plans prepared by R. B. Lucas accepted by Municipality.
1884
Lucas plan rejected in favour of plans prepared by
Grainger and D’Ebro, a Victorian based firm of architects.
Tenders called rejected and called again with Edward V.
Keane being the lowest, budget exceeded and decision
made to proceed with part of the work.
1885
Electors reject reduced scope and council agree to raise
the difference in costs. Contract signed with Keane on 28
May and foundation stone laid by Governor Sir Frederick
Napier Broome on 10 September.
1886
Progress slow and a further contract to complete the work
signed with Keane.
1887
Work completed and Town Hall opened on 22 June.
1888
Town Hall clock arrives and is installed by William Hooper.
1898
Balcony added to auditorium and to High Street elevation
and entrance pediment removed. Auditorium’s highly
decorative paint scheme implemented. Stage enlarged by
removal of cyclorama wall.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 54
1900
Century Buildings completed in High Street.
1929
Roof light and gas mantle removed and electric lighting
installed and Centenary buildings added in William Street.
Paint scheme at least partly covered.
1910
Motion pictures shown in Town Hall.
1938
Council chambers and corner entrance lobby modified.
1957
Remodelling including removal of glazed roof panels and
improved ventilation.
1963
Century and Centenary Buildings demolished to make way
for new Civic Administration and Exhibition Hall to designs
by Hobbs, Winning and Leighton, with Allen and Nicholas.
1966
High Street blocked to traffic, fountains to designs by
Raymond Jones installed, and new buildings completed by
A.T. Brine. Town Hall ‘refurbished.’
1970
Clock changed to electric windings by Lew Roger.
1959
Plans drawn for enclosure of eastern balcony with
asbestos, louvres and fixed glazing, to match existing
enclosure. (See Fig. 5)
1973
Two additional floors added to Administration Building to
designs by Hobbs, Winning & Leighton Architects.
1985-6
Conservation and adaptation works to Town Hall
completed. Exhibition Hall and Administration buildings
adapted to become Town Hall Centre. St John’s Square
extensively re-modelled. The outline of the first St. John’s
Church installed in High Street. Town Hall re-opened by
the Prime Minister on 16 November.
1987
St. John’s Square opened by Princess Anne and re-
named King’s Square.
1995
Exterior and interior of some areas of Town Hall re-painted
in new colours.
2001
Disability access and safety improvement project to
improve entry and make toilets available to disabled.
2004
Conservation plan review commissioned with a
requirement to examine unresolved problems, improve
accessibility, and to assist in making the place more
presentable and useful.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 55
3.2
IDENTIFICATION OF QUESTIONS NOT RESOLVED AND CONFLICT OF
EVIDENCE
The changes made to the place after the early 1960s are reasonably well
documented, so that our understanding of the place from the mid-1960s to the
present, showing the development of the site and buildings, is reasonable.
There are several sets of drawings that help identify the scope and timing of
change. In addition to giving information on the immediate changes, some
drawings also give some insight into the broader context of the place, namely
the state of areas on the periphery of work areas.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 56
Figure
11
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Development Sequence of the Fabric - Site
Plan. Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 57
3.3
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PLACE
Design
Fremantle Town Hall is one of a number of fine Victorian Free Classical style
buildings in Western Australia. A search of the Heritage Council’s database
revealed 13 places in the Victorian Free Classical style, and of these only five
are included in the Register of Heritage places, apart from Fremantle Town Hall.
Of this group of places, only Fremantle Town Hall was designed to be seen in
the round. Albany Town Hall (Place No. 74) is the only other building to employ
strong vertical elements to highlight its civic use. Unlike Fremantle, it is
constructed in stone and it makes a strong visual impact on York Street.
Fremantle Town Hall is a much larger building, and much taller than any of the
buildings in the database.
Technology
In the period, most buildings in Fremantle used conventional load limestone
construction walls and partition walls, timber rafter construction roofs, iron or
shingle roof cladding, stucco trim and suspended timber floors. Perth buildings
during the same period were more likely to be constructed of brick. Fremantle
Town Hall used the conventional construction technology, but employed slate
for the roofing for the more visually prominent roofs. The slate became friable
with exposure to the sun and were eventually replaced.
Because the spans were large, the auditorium roof was trussed.
The toilets were originally located outside the building, therefore, the building
services originally consisted of gas only, to service the lighting system.
Use
From its inception, Fremantle Town Hall was used for community functions and
the administration of the city. By 1963, some of these uses decanted when the
new administration building was completed. The social and ceremonial
functions continued.
Fremantle Town Hall was conserved between 1985 and 1986, and use of the
Town Hall increased. However, the spaces surrounding the courtyard
remained under-utilised.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 58
3.4
CONCLUSION
The analysis in this section indicates that the development of the present
collection of built elements that make up the Fremantle Town Hall is reasonably
well understood. The comparative analysis indicates that it was designed in a
style that was used in the Victorian Period in Western Australia, but one that is
not well represented in 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 59
4.0
ASSESSMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
4.1
GENERALLY
The aim of this section of the Conservation and Management Plan is to fully
discuss the broad range of issues arising from the Documentary and Physical
Evidence, which contribute to, or detract from, the significance of the place. It
is derived from the evidence of the previous sections.
The discussion is set out using the Heritage Council of Western Australia’s
‘Criteria of Cultural Significance for entry into the Register of Heritage Places
(November 1996)’ (See Appendix II). The discussion considers the nature of
significance in terms of aesthetic, historic, scientific and social values. The
degree of significance of the place is discussed in terms of its rarity,
representativeness, condition, integrity and authenticity. The discussion deals
with the place as a whole and its component parts.
4.2
AESTHETIC VALUE
Fremantle Town Hall is an outstanding example of Victorian Free Classical
style architecture employed to symbolise civic dignity and pride, and makes
use of diverse classical derived motifs to complete a rich visual and textural
quality.
(Criterion 1.1)
(See Sections 3.1 and 2.3)
Fremantle Town Hall is an outstanding example of Victorian Free Classical
style architecture that makes use of local fauna in its decorative motifs, a
practice that was unusual at the time. (Criterion 1.2) (See Section 2.3)
Fremantle Town Hall is sited in a prominent city centre location and with its tall
clock tower can be seen from many vantage points in and around the city. It is
a Fremantle landmark. (Criterion 1.3) (See Section 2.1)
Fremantle Town Hall is the tallest building in the West End conservation area
and is an important component part of the area. (Criterion 1.3)
(See Section
2.1)
4.3
HISTORIC VALUE
Fremantle Town Hall has been the location of town, and then city government,
since its construction to the present, providing the range of local government
services and focus for community activities. It is an indication of the
development and maturing of Fremantle towards the end of the nineteenth
century. (Criterion 2.1) (Refer to Sections 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and 1.1.4)
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 60
Changes in the nature of the Fremantle Town Hall through time reflects the
growth of the city, and the extension of the responsibility of local government.
Its conservation reflects the commitment of the city to the conservation of its
own heritage. (Criterion 2.1) (Refer to Sections 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and 1.1.4)
Fremantle Town Hall was constructed during a period of the consolidation of
Fremantle, prior to the Gold Boom and to the city becoming the State’s principal
port. (Criterion 2.2)
Fremantle Town Hall was designed by well-known Melbourne architects
Grainger and D’Ebro and built by prominent builder and railway contractor
Edward Keane. (Criterion 2.3) (Refer to Sections 1.1.2)
Fremantle Town Hall is an outstanding example of Victorian Free Classical
style architecture.
(Criterion 2.4)
4.4
SCIENTIFIC VALUE
----
4.5
SOCIAL VALUE
Fremantle Town Hall has social significance to the local community and to the
wider community as a meeting place, as a venue for entertainment, civic
occasions, and as the centre of the city’s government.
(Criterion 4.1)
(Refer
to Sections 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and 1.1.4)
Fremantle Town Hall is a meeting place and a landmark and thus contributes to
the community’s sense of place. (Criterion 4.2)
4.6
RARITY
Fremantle Town Hall has some rarity value as one of a small number of civic
buildings to be completed in the Victorian Free Classical style of architecture in
the metropolitan area and in the State. (Criterion 5.1)
Fremantle Town Hall represents a way of life that is no longer practiced, with
changing practices in local government and the conduct of Council meetings,
and provision of planning and facilities at the place no longer meeting
requirements for the original intended purpose. The place has a new relevance
acquired through adaptive re-use. (Criterion 5.2) (Refer to Section 3.3)
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 61
4.7
REPRESENTATIVENESS
Fremantle Town Hall is a fine example of the Victorian Free Classical style applied
to a civic building.
(Criterion 6.1)
Fremantle Town Hall is representative of the consolidation of the city prior to a
period of great prosperity stimulated by the Gold Boom and the development of
the harbour as the State’s principal port. (Criterion 6.2) (Refer to Section 2.1)
Works to the building in the last years of the twentieth century are
representative of the significance attached to conservation in the city, and of
the preparedness to undertake adaptive works to make the place suitable for a
range of community activities in accommodation that meets contemporary
requirements. (Criterion 6.2) (Refer to Section 2.3)
4.8
CONDITION
Following the extensive conservation work undertaken in 1986-7 and ongoing
maintenance, and notwithstanding a range of building maintenance problems of a
local nature, Fremantle Town Hall is in fair to good condition. (Refer to Section 2.3)
4.9
INTEGRITY
Some of the original uses have been relocated to the administration buildings,
although the intention of the spaces is clear. The auditorium retains its original
purpose and use. Overall, the place retains a moderate to high degree of
integrity.
(Refer to Sections 2.2 and 2.3)
4.10
AUTHENTICITY
In the process of adapting the place, some original interior fabric has been
removed and new fabric introduced. There have been numerous internal
changes, many of them quite minor. Paint colours in the auditorium are
reconstructions based on physical evidence. The whole of the courtyard
verandah, floor and roof are new fabric. The William Street stair is a
reconstruction. The exterior is highly authentic in some locations, such as the
roofscape, verandahs and sections of elevations. However, paint finishes and
roof finishes are replacements. Overall, the place retains a moderate degree
of authenticity.
(Refer to Section 2.3)
4.11
CONCLUSION
The discussion and assessment of the evidence draws conclusions about the
significance of the place and allows a concise Statement of Significance to be
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 62
formulated. It is this statement that provides the foundation for the
Conservation Policy for the place.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 63
5.0
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
5.1
GENERALLY
This Statement of Significance is based on the evidence gathered and
discussed in previous Sections 1 to 4 of this report. The Statement of
Significance is the principal reference for development of the Conservation
Policy. The Statement of Significance is divided into two sections, Primary
Significance and Secondary Significance. Each of these sections deals with
significance of the place in a descending order of importance, in terms of
cultural heritage value.
5.2
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Fremantle Town Hall, a two storey and three storey stucco limestone and brick
construction building with a slate, tile and iron roof in the Victorian Free
Classical style, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
it a very fine example of a civic building in the Victorian Free Classical
style employed to symbolise civic dignity;
it is sited in a prominent city centre location and with its tall clock tower
can be seen from many vantage points in and around the city. It is a
Fremantle landmark;
it is the tallest building in the West End conservation area and is an
important component part of the area;
it has been the location of town, and then city government, since its
construction to the present, as well as being an indication of the
development and maturing of Fremantle towards end of the nineteenth
century;
it is valued as a meeting place, as a venue for entertainment and civic
occasions, as the centre of the city’s government, and also as a
landmark that contributes to the community’s sense of place; and,
it is representative of the consolidation of the city prior to a period of great
prosperity stimulated by the Gold Boom and the development of the
harbour as the State’s principal port.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 64
Secondary Significance
It was designed by well-known Melbourne architects Grainger and
D’Ebro and built by prominent builder and railway contractor Edward
Keane; and,
Conservation and adaptation works in the last years of the twentieth
century are representative of the significance attached to conservation in
the city .
5.3
CONCLUSION
The Fremantle Town Hall is a place of considerable significance as part of a
significant precinct in the shape of Fremantle’s West End, and in its own right
as an individual place. It plays an important role in the cultural heritage of
Fremantle and the western suburbs, and has been a Fremantle icon since its
completion. An understanding of the component parts that contribute to the
significance of the place follows.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 65
6.0
GRADED ZONES AND ELEMENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE
6.1
GENERALLY
The object of this section is to identify significant zones, relationships, spaces
and elements. The elements are considered within their historical and physical
context and in relation to the significance of the place as a whole. Normally,
the grading of significance is considered in terms of a five-tier grading system,
as noted below. However, there are no Zones of Exceptional Significance at
the Fremantle Town Hall. Levels of significance are assigned to assist with the
development of the Conservation Policy.
The Inspection Schedules relating to the significant fabric should be read in
conjunction with this chapter, because they provide an ‘element by element’
analysis in each room and of the exterior of the place. The accompanying
figures in this chapter are designed to assist in understanding the levels of
significance.
The levels of significance used and their meanings are as follows:-
EXCEPTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
Items of exceptional significance would warrant inclusion on any register
of heritage places; conservation is essential. This ranking is an
indication of possible national significance.
CONSIDERABLE SIGNIFICANCE
Items of considerable significance would warrant inclusion on any
register of places of significance; conservation highly recommended.
This ranking is an indication of State and possibly national significance.
SOME SIGNIFICANCE
This is the threshold for entry onto the Heritage Council's (WA) Register
of Heritage Places, The Australian Heritage Commission's Register of
the National Estate, or the National Trust of Australia (WA) Classified
List. These areas are extremely important in terms of the place and
should be conserved, if the place is to retain its meaning and
significance; conservation is recommended.
LITTLE SIGNIFICANCE
This category can include additions and alterations made to
accommodate changing requirements. They tend to be expedient and
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 66
ephemeral, and their impact upon the place ranges from neutral to
moderately intrusive. Where necessary, they can be altered for
adaptive or other Conservation Works; conservation is not essential.
This ranking generally means that the zone or elements neither
contributes, nor detracts from, the significance of the place.
INTRUSIVE
Intrusive items includes those, which, in their present form, have an
adverse affect upon the significance of the place. These elements
should be removed when the opportunity arises, or when the element is
no longer required, unless their removal is identified as an urgent matter.
Zones or elements in this classification generally detract from the
significance of the place.
The purpose of establishing Zones of Significance is to relate appropriate
Conservation Policies to them.
6.2
ZONES OF SIGNIFICANCE
Fremantle Town Hall is an important Fremantle landmark and has been an
enduring one since its completion. The gradual development of the adjoining
sites, and then redevelopment during the 1960s has gradually simplified the
setting in terms of the immediate context. An open square quickly gave way to
development to the east of the building along High Street, and to the south on
William Street. The work of the 1960s opened up the setting and saw High
Street closed to traffic. In the 1980s, the square took on a more integrated
look, with uniform paving patterns and materials, seating, wall treatments and
the like.
King’s Square has undergone a number of iterations and the present one is
perhaps the least complex that the place has been and the most unified in
terms of presentation. The present iteration has meant that the space has
more hard landscape than it has in many previous iterations. There has also
been a trend towards putting more things in the square including public art, play
equipment, potted plantings, seating, refuse bins, banner poles, and the like.
The overall impact is somewhat reduced by the uneven quality of the contents
of the square, and none of these things have any relationship to the historic
precedents as the evidence amply illustrates.
Although some of the additions to the Fremantle Town Hall are not unpleasant
in nature, none of them are of any importance and some are intrusive,
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 67
detracting from the presentation of the place. Some of the spaces left over at
building junctions certainly detract from the presentation of the place.
With respect to the building exterior, there is very little material to detract from
the presentation of the place, although there are things that can be done to
improve it.
Similarly, the interior has only a small number of things that detract from its
presentation. However, there are matters that are limitations in terms of
presentation and use, with poor access and under provision of toilets being
amongst them. The stage, seating, and backstage facilities are poor, and while
not detracting from heritage value, do not allow the place to be used to its full
potential.
The Zones of Little Significance and the Intrusive Zones generally relate to the
additions of the 1960s, some of the exterior spaces created by the additions,
streetscape finishes and fittings, and the adaptations of the 1960s and later.
Some of the things identified as having little significance are useful and make
the place more usable and presentable. The purpose of listing then here is just
to note the cultural heritage significance of the items of spaces, so that if
further change is required, the areas of sensitivity are readily identified for
future planning
The following is a summary of each building in terms of Zones of Significance:
Zones of Exceptional Significance
Nil.
Zones of Considerable Significance
Overall landmark quality.
Axial view corridor of High Street.
Axial view corridor of William Street.
The exterior of elevations and roofscape geometry of the whole of the
Fremantle Town Hall.
All of the interior of the Fremantle Town Hall, notwithstanding that the present
fit-out of some of the spaces is of lesser significance, see below.
Zones of Some Significance
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 68
The Council Chamber (F9).
Adapted entrance lobby and ticket offices (G5, 6, 8 & 9).
Balcony to auditorium (F1).
Zones of Little Significance
Landscape treatments around Fremantle Town Hall, notwithstanding their
amenity value.
Basement spaces (B1 & 2).
Toilets and duct (G11, 22, & 23), notwithstanding the significance of the
building envelope.
Back stage area
(G18), notwithstanding the significance of the building
envelope.
Kitchen
(G15), cool room
(G14) and store
(G24), notwithstanding the
significance of the building envelope.
Change rooms (G19-21).
Courtyard (G12), notwithstanding the significance of the building envelope.
Curved lobby west of balcony (part of F8).
Change rooms (F 17, 18 & 19).
Plant room (S16).
Intrusive Zones
Space between buildings at the southern end of William Street (outside G18).
Left over spaces east of building (east of G1).
Service enclosures generally.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 69
TO BE INSERTED
Figure
12
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance - Site Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architect, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 70
Figure 1 3
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance- Basement Floor Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 71
Figure 1 4
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance- Ground Floor Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 72
Figure 1 5
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance- First Floor Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 73
Figure 1 6
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance- Second Floor Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 74
TO BE INSERTED
Figure 1 7
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Zones of Significance- Roof Plan. Considine
and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 75
6.3
ELEMENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE
The following is a summary of the significance of elements within the place.
For a detailed breakdown of these elements refer to the Inspection Schedules:
Appendix I.
Elements of Exceptional Significance
Nil.
Elements of Considerable Significance
Port Jackson Fig Trees in King’s Square.
All elements that contribute to landmark value, including two main facades and
their detailing and roofscape, but not roof finishes.
Interiors and original fabric of Auditorium (G1) except for adaptations, interior of
rooms G 2-4, except where noted below, interiors of rooms G10, 13, &16).
Interiors and original fabric of rooms F2-F7, F10 &11, F13-15.
Containing fabric of other spaces.
Elements of Some Significance
The fabric associated with presentation and fittings of the Council chamber
(F9), but note that the furniture is from North Fremantle Town Hall.
The fabric associated with the adapted entrance lobby and ticket offices (G5,
6, 8 & 9), including a section of terrazzo floor, panelling, lobby doors, ticket
office fronts.
The fabric associated with the balcony to auditorium (F1), including floor
structure, supporting steel, stair, soffit lining and balustrade.
Elements of Little Significance
Landscape treatments around Fremantle Town Hall including pavings, street
furniture, sculpture (notwithstanding intrinsic value), and plantings other than
Port Jackson Figs.
Alterations to basement spaces including stage modifications and works
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 76
associated with air conditioning. (B1 & 2)
Painting (reconstruction work), flooring, stage lighting, air conditioning, curtains,
stage apron, proscenium arch (reconstruction), and light controls in G1.
Floors to G2 and doors between G2 and G3.
Blocking in of fireplaces in G2 and G3.
Door between G3 and G4.
Stair in G13 (reconstruction).
Whole of fit-out and services to toilets and duct (G 11, 22, &23).
Replacement flooring, stairs, equipment, control panels and ladders to stage
(G17).
Cool room G14.
Fit-out to kitchen (G15)
Railings and stage intrusion in supper room, blocking in of fireplace (G16)
Raised floor, stairs, blocking in of fireplace, folding stage doors, stage doors to
William Street in back stage area (G18).
All fixtures and fittings to change rooms (G19-21).
Replacement material, concrete and tiled floor and painting to courtyard (G12).
Sound desk to F1.
Walls between F2 & 3.
Decorative treatment to stair walls (F6).
Curved lobby west of balcony (part of F8), balustrades, and flooring to F8.
Fittings and finishes associated with kitchen fit out to F12.
Blocking in of fireplaces in rooms F2, 3, 13, & 14.
All fixtures and fittings to change (F 17, 18 & 19).
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 77
Contents of plant room (S16).
Roof over courtyard and associated structure.
Wall linings to most of the walls of S4-11.
Zincalume roof coverings, flashings and the like.
Roof access and planking systems.
Present flagpoles.
Replacement urns, notwithstanding their value as part of the
reconstruction
works.
Intrusive Elements
All material associated with intrusive zones.
Tiles to mansard roofs and towers.
Service risers and ducts.
Roof mounted air conditioning units.
Floor mounted fan coil units throughout.
6.4
CONCLUSION
The Inspection Schedules, and above summary, define the extent of significant
fabric and give a good basic guide as to what is important and should be
conserved.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 78
TO BE INSERTED
Figure 1 8
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Elements of Significance - Site Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 79
Figure 1 9
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Elements of Significance - Basement Plan.
Considine and Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 80
Figure 2 0
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle
- Elements of Significance - Ground Floor
Plan, Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 81
Figure 3 3 . Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Elements of Significance - First Floor Plan,
Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 82
Figure 3 4 . Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Elements of Significance - Second Floor
Plan, Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 83
7.0
CONSERVATION POLICY
7.1
INTRODUCTION
Based on the Statement of Significance and the identification of Zones and
Elements of Significance, the Conservation Policy section seeks to define the
extent to which it is necessary to retain, reveal and conserve the remaining
fabric in order to maintain the identified cultural heritage values. The
Conservation Policy also takes into account the additional requirements of the
brief to make the place a stronger presence in the City, to make it more useful
and more accessible. Therefore, the recommendations for works include
conservation works that are important to conserve and reveal the place, and
adaptation works that are compatible with heritage values to make the place
more useful.
7.1.1
MAJOR ISSUES IN THE POLICIES
The recommended policies in this section derive from the cultural heritage
significance of the place and its physical condition, and consider a small range
of important adaptive tasks, as noted above. The policies consider how to
retain and reveal the significance of the place, to improve access, improve its
utility, and identify feasible and compatible uses. In addition, it discusses
addressing statutory requirements and Fremantle adopted policy
requirements, together with working within procurable resources, and any
other issues that may impact upon the conservation of the heritage values of
the place.
Fremantle Town Hall has been assessed by the Heritage Council and included
in the Register of Heritage Places. The major controls over development on
the place currently reside with the City of Fremantle Town Planning Scheme
No.3 and the Heritage Act of Western Australia.
Fremantle Town Hall is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Fremantle, a
landmark building, and an important component part of Fremantle’s West End,
a relatively intact example of a nineteenth and early twentieth century port city.
This historic context, the fact that the port remains a working port, and
changing social patterns mean that Fremantle is one of the state’s most
important cultural heritage places, and a popular place in which to recreate.
Fremantle Town Hall is one of the landmark components of this broader
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 84
context.
Major conservation issues include:
How the significant features, fabric setting and spaces of the
Fremantle Town Hall can be revealed and interpreted;
Its future use, including the intensification of use to underpin its
conservation;
How to improve access to make the majority of the building useful and
as near to statutory compliance as is reasonable;
How to manage change, including adaptation, for the future and
protect heritage values;
How and when intrusive elements can be removed, as the
opportunities arise, so that the Significant Zones and Elements of the
place may be better revealed;
How to ensure that its landmark value is conserved and better
revealed.
7.1.2
KEY POLICY STATEMENTS
Fremantle Town Hall is a landmark and a place of considerable cultural
heritage significance. It should be afforded a high level of protection and its
significant zones, spaces, and fabric managed in such a way as to protect its
heritage value. It will require careful conservation, including adaptation, to
conserve and enhance it.
Areas of the context, spaces between buildings, and parts of Fremantle Town
Hall , which are intrusive or of little significance, offer opportunities for change
to the place, to accommodate new requirements, or to accommodate a variety
of uses. These types of change should be managed to ensure that the
essential qualities that give the place its distinctive character Victorian Free
Classical style architectural expression and landmark value, remain
paramount.
The conservation, and any future development of the place, should aim to
retain heritage values and endeavour to maintain and improve the presentation
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 85
of the setting and of the building.
Fremantle Town Hall retains a moderate to high degree of authenticity internally
and a relatively high degree of authenticity externally. Numerous minor
changes and a number of major ones were noted in the previous chapter.
However, it should be noted that most of the underlying fabric of the place is
authentic and many of the changes and the fabric that is identified as being of
little significance is superficial, often laid over authentic fabric. The retention of
the remaining authentic fabric is strongly encouraged.
There is some flexibility in how the areas of building that are of little significance
may be adapted, providing that work in these areas has no adverse impact on
adjoining areas of higher significance or on the significance of the place as a
whole.
For the major planning matters, significant building adaptation, and
conservation of the Fremantle Town Hall, appropriate professional advice is
extremely important. Advice should be sought from recognised conservation
professionals, with skills relevant to the task under consideration.
It is very important to do as much as necessary, and as little as possible, to
the authentic parts of the building in order to conserve the significant fabric and
the important physical evidence it provides, both in its underlying fabric and in
terms of significant subsequent overlays. A good example of important
overlaying is the former council chamber (F9).
Much of the original fabric is in good condition. There are numerous minor
building maintenance problems that would come under general conservation,
repairs and maintenance, such as failing flashings, unprotected parapet tops,
and failing rainwater goods.
There is some damage, general ‘wear and tear’, some poor repair strategies
employed in the past, as well as areas that require detailed assessment so that
appropriate conservation solutions can be developed. Example of these items
include poorly secured floorboards, heavily worn flooring, painted shut
windows and rusting fixings on the exterior generally.
A superficial inspection suggests that an engineering inspection and report on
the building generally, and roofing systems in particular, should be undertaken
as part of the program for adaptation. Previous conservation and adaptation
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 86
work should be checked over for performance and any new structural issues
identified can be assessed.
The conservation of the Fremantle Town Hall will best be achieved by careful
consideration of its ongoing and future use, bearing in mind its significance and
the constraints imposed by the existing significant fabric. Any use, or
alternative use considered for the various parts of the place, should have the
capacity to cause the removal of intrusive accretions and to better reveal the
significance of the place. Returning any original functions to their original
locations would also assist in the conservation of the place, if this were
considered a good strategy for a future use. Alternative uses that underpin the
conservation of the landmark building should be considered, if adaptation is the
key to its future conservation.
Fremantle Town Hall is a registered place so that consultation with the Heritage
Council is required under Section 78 of the Heritage of Western Australia Act,
1990. This Conservation Policy would be considered by the Heritage Council
in any decision-making and in offering its advice to the City of Fremantle on the
place. The City of Fremantle, however, remains the final decision-making
authority under the present Act.
1.
The assessed significance of Fremantle Town Hall and the
Conservation Policy for the protection of its significance should
be accepted by the City of Fremantle, together with relevant
authorities, as one of the bases for decisions about the
management, maintenance, conservation, development and future
use of the site, buildings and setting.
2.
The conservation of significant zones and elements of the place
should be carried out in accordance with the principles of the
Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter. These principles are fundamental
to the Conservation Policy.
3.
All future decisions relating to use, or any other matters likely to
affect the heritage value of Fremantle Town Hall, should be made
with reference to this Conservation and Management Plan.
4.
The Conservation and Management Plan should be reviewed every
five years to take into account the effects of the passage of time,
works, the applicability of the Conservation Policies and to assess
the manner in which they have been implemented. The
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 87
Conservation and Management Plan should be updated to reflect
the outcomes of the intended adaptation works recommended in
this document.
7.2
POLICES ARISING FROM THE CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
PLACE
7.2.1
PROCEDURAL CONSTRAINTS ARISING OUT OF THE BURRA CHARTER
All places of cultural significance should be conserved in accordance with the
principles outlined in the Burra Charter. Generally, the Conservation Policy for
the Fremantle Town Hall recommends the retention and conservation of
significant views to the place and the significant fabric of the building, to ensure
the prominence of the landmark building is retained.
Where original fabric has deteriorated beyond viable repair, reconstruction
should be considered using replacement material that matches the original
material as closely as possible. In some cases, simple stabilisation is the first
consideration, to ensure that there will be something to conserve in the future.
However, since its authentic fabric represents the greatest value of the place,
conservation is the highest priority and replacement should only be carried out
when other means of conserving original fabric have been investigated and
proved inadequate. Conserving the existing fabric does not require that it
appears as new when conservation work is complete. The patina of age that
results from minimum interference with the original fabric, but involves well-
managed maintenance, is also important.
Adaptation of the building and its existing adaptive works may be carried out in
areas where original fabric has been removed or altered, or where those parts
are of little significance. Intrusive fabric and elements should be removed if
they are no longer required. Removal of fabric, which would allow the 1887 to
1939 elements of the building to be better revealed, is strongly encouraged.
Fabric of little significance may be retained if required for adaptive use, but if
this class of fabric no longer serves a useful purpose, it too should be
removed. New work should be distinguishable from the original fabric, but
respect the style, form and scale of the original, without copying the original
detail. Structural change should take into account advice from a structural
engineer, preferably with heritage experience, where such change is
significant.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 88
The Conservation Policy recommends that any future change of use for the
building elements should be evaluated in terms of its ability to conserve the
heritage values of the place, although it is recognised that if the place ceases
to function as a town hall, its social values will change. The assessment of
adaptation should include its ability to sustain the viability of the place without
damaging its level of authenticity, to retain the balance between the building and
the significant aspects of its setting (namely key views to the place) and to
retain the significant parts of the original building.
All parts of the Burra Charter are important, but the following articles describe
particular conservation principles, which need to be understood in regard to the
procedural constraints and requirements arising from the Statement of
Significance.
5.
Article 2: Conservation and Management.
Places of cultural significance should be conserved.
The aim of conservation is to retain the cultural significance of a
place.
Conservation is an integral part of the good management of places
of cultural significance.
Places of cultural significance should be safeguarded and not be
put at risk, or left in a vulnerable state.
6.
Article 5: Values
Conservation of a place should identify, and take into
consideration, all aspects of cultural and natural heritage, without
unwarranted emphasis on any value at the expense of others.
Relative degrees of cultural significance may lead to different
conservation actions at a place.
7.
Article 8: Setting
Conservation requires the retention of an appropriate setting and
other relationships that contribute to the cultural significance of
the place.
New construction, demolition, intrusions, or other changes which
would adversely affect the setting or relationships, are not
appropriate.
8.
Article 9: Location
The physical location of a place is part of its cultural significance.
A building, work, or other component of a place, should remain in
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 89
its historical location. Relocation is generally unacceptable,
unless it is the sole practical means of ensuring its survival.
9.
Article 13: Restoration
Restoration is appropriate only if there is sufficient evidence of an
earlier state of the fabric.
10.
Article 21: Adaptation
Adaptation is acceptable only where the adaptation has minimal
impact on the cultural significance of the place.
Adaptation should involve minimal change to significant fabric,
achieved only after considering alternatives.
11.
Article 30: Direction, supervision and implementation
Competent direction and supervision should be maintained at all
stages and people with appropriate skills should implement any
changes.
12.
Article 32: Records
The records associated with conservation of a place should be
placed in a permanent archive and made publicly available, subject
to requirements of security and privacy, where this is culturally
appropriate.
7.2.2
GENERAL ACTIONS ARISING FROM THE STATEMENT OF
SIGNIFICANCE
The following are general actions arising from the Statement of Significance
and are directly related to the statement.
it is representative of the consolidation of the city prior to a period of great
prosperity stimulated by the Gold Boom and the development of the
harbour as the State’s principal port;
Secondary Significance
It was designed by well-known Melbourne architects Grainger and
D’Ebro and built by prominent builder and railway contractor Edward
Keane;
Conservation and adaptation works in the last years of the twentieth century
are representative of the significance attached to conservation in the city.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 90
13.
Fremantle Town Hall is a very fine example of a civic building in
the Victorian Free Classical style employed to symbolise civic
dignity. Conservation, the replacement of missing elements,
sustainable use, and the improvement of the presentation and
setting of the place is strongly recommended.
14.
Fremantle Town Hall is sited in a prominent city centre location
and with its tall clock tower can be seen from many vantage points
in and around the city. It is a Fremantle landmark and these
qualities should be conserved and enhanced in the process of
conservation and adaptation. Change in the vistas to the Town
Hall along the principal axial views is supported where change will
result in the reinforcement of the traditional views of the place.
15.
Fremantle Town Hall has been the location of town, and then city
government, since its construction to the present, as well as being
an indication of the development and maturing of Fremantle
towards end of the nineteenth century. Sustainable use of the
place, good public access, and interpretation are important
measures that will underpin the value.
16.
Fremantle Town Hall is valued as a meeting place, as a venue for
entertainment and civic occasions, as the centre of the city’s
government, and also as a landmark that contributes to the
community’s sense of place. Although its use for city government
terminated in the 1960s, its ongoing use for entertainment, civic
occasions, and its landmark quality, giving rise to a sense of place,
remain. It is strongly recommended that the Town Hall continues
to develop a capacity for a variety of uses and that it be
progressively upgraded in a manner sensitive to its heritage
values, to ensure that it is a competitive venue in the City.
17.
Fremantle Town Hall is representative of the consolidation of the
city prior to a period of great prosperity stimulated by the Gold
Boom and the development of the harbour as the State’s principal
port. The demographic and economic context for the development
of the place and the vision of the people of Fremantle for their city
in the 1880s should be a significant part of the interpretation of the
place.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 91
7.2.3
OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM THE STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
18. The opportunity for the reconstruction of missing elements
should be realised: -
where reconstruction is possible;
where clear evidence exists to enable reconstruction to be
accurately undertaken;
where the circumstances suggest that reconstruction is a
viable and appropriate action; and,
provided there are relevant skills and materials available to
implement such proposals.
There is sufficient Documentary and Physical Evidence available to guide the
reinstatement of certain elements, which have been removed or have
deteriorated. This is particularly true of elements of the roofscape. The roof
tiling at second floor level is a poor substitute for slate and the manner in which
the tiles have been detailed is causing damage to the second floor. The
replacement of the present roof with slate or a sympathetic scale replacement
material is highly recommended. Such a proposal also opens an opportunity
for the reinstatement of the roof top finials also, and thus a substantial element
could be reinstated and the presentation of the place improved in the process.
Another key element for which evidence exists is the High Street verandah
over the auditorium entrance. The reconstruction of this element would better
articulate the north façade and enhance the High Street axis.
Any of the room plans and features could be reconstructed if so desired.
Rooms that have been opened up to create larger rooms (e.g. F14) could be
returned to their original size. Fabric removed to accommodate any of the
adaptations which have been made through time may be replaced and this is
encouraged. Where additions are removed, the reinstatement of the fabric to
the original treatments in accordance with Documentary and Physical
Evidence is strongly encouraged. Fireplaces using authentic models may also
be reconstructed.
Some reconstruction of decorative finishes has already taken place in the
auditorium (G1), and other locations for decorative treatments have been
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 92
identified in previous conservation works. The completion of the decorative
treatments in the auditorium and consideration of their reinstatement in other
locations is recommended. Other options for decorative treatments are
discussed below.
Other opportunities for interpreting or reinstating missing elements may
become apparent during investigative works carried out as a part of
conservation and adaptation works, or as further Documentary Evidence is
discovered. Examples of this include paint treatments, dado treatments and
the like.
19.
The opportunity for the removal of intrusive elements should be
realised, where possible, to reveal significant fabric.
There are opportunities to achieve these objectives and the adaptation
process offers a significant opportunity to remove intrusive fabric. Much of the
intrusive material is related to services, particularly air conditioning. Other
intrusive elements include pavings in William Street, roofing tiles as noted
above, fit-out of change rooms and kitchen fit-outs. Removal of any intrusive
fabric should be considered at the appropriate time.
20.
The opportunity to investigate and reinstate previous decorative
finishes should be realised, where possible.
For example, early exterior and interior paint colours should be investigated by
means of paint scrapes, or microscopic study, with a view to reinstating these
colours if possible. As noted above this has the capacity to impact on the
presentation of the place considerably.
The execution of colour scrapes may be interpreted by returning the rooms to
their original colours, or by means of interpretative panels which expose 'paint
ladders'23, but allows the rest of the room to be decorated to suit its current use
(e.g. kitchen and toilet areas that were previously office spaces, where
returning the room to original colours would be inappropriate.). Either strategy
may be appropriate, according to circumstance. Similarly, the paint colours of
external joinery and metal work could be investigated for possible
reinstatement.
23
A 'paint ladder’ is a progressive series of paint scrapes that reveal the sequence of paint colours used at a
particular location
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 93
21.
The reinstatement of the unpainted stucco external finish
should be investigated and implemented if practicable.
The exterior of the building was originally completed in a stucco made to give
the appearance of Portland stone. Within a few years of completion, as the
evidence indicates and contemporary press articles attest, the finish became
shabby, and there were calls to paint it. After many years the tower was
painted and then the whole of the stucco surface. There have been many
minor alterations to the façade through time so that there are a large number of
small repair areas in the stucco finish. The present cement base paint finish is
laid over previous plastic paints and these finishes provide a dense cover that
obscures much of this history.
It is recommended that a trial be conducted to remove the paint in a repair area
and a control area, and that some experiments be carried out to ascertain the
practicability of complete paint removal from the stucco, and for the resulting
surface to be left as intended. If the tiles on the roof are replaced with slate,
the rationale for this approach is strengthened since the building had an
unpainted stucco appearance up until the time of roof tiling.
7.2.4
POLICIES ARISING FROM THE GRADED ZONES OF SIGNIFICANCE
These policies are general guides as to how to treat the place, having regarded
the relative levels of significance of the parts under consideration. Sections 6.2
and 6.3 offer guidance on the levels of significance so that the following
guidance flows from the assessment of levels of significance.
(Refer to
Sections 6.2 and 6.3)
Zones of Considerable Significance
22.
The significant fabric of spaces or elements of considerable
significance should be preserved, restored or reconstructed as
appropriate.
Reconstruction is desirable, providing sufficient detailed information is
available. Adaptation is acceptable to the extent of installing reversible small
fixtures, services and partitions, provided this does not affect any external or
internal fabric or spaces that are of exceptional or considerable significance.
No significant fabric should be removed, or action taken, to confuse the sense
of the space. Structural adaptation is generally unacceptable. However, minor
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 94
structural adaptation may be considered if it is in keeping with the overall aims
of the Conservation Policy and has a minimal impact on the significant fabric.
Alterations to the fabric should be documented.
There should not be works in open spaces that will adversely affect the setting
of the place or obscure important views to, and from, the site.
Zones of Some Significance
23.
The fabric of spaces or elements of some significance should
be preserved, restored or reconstructed as appropriate.
Adaptation is acceptable to the extent of installing reversible small fixtures,
services and reversible partitions, providing this does not affect the external or
internal appearance of the place. Discrete structural additions and openings
can be made. New or different finishes are acceptable, provided these do not
obscure or damage the important evidence of significant materials and finishes.
Any alteration to the fabric should be documented.
There should not be works in open spaces that will adversely affect the setting
of the place or obscure important views to, and from, the site.
Zones of Little Significance
24.
The fabric of spaces or elements of little significance may be
retained or removed depending on the future use requirements.
However, care should be taken to ensure that any such works to zones or
elements of little significance do not detract from the significance of the
adjoining spaces or elements. Before removal, ensure that a comprehensive
photographic and written record of the element to be removed is completed.
Intrusive Zones
25.
Intrusive spaces or elements that have been identified as
detracting from the significance of the place, and their removal
or replacement with more appropriate detailing, should be
encouraged.
Any proposed removal needs to be assessed against other considerations,
such as function and economics, before implementation. Before
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 95
removal/demolition, ensure that a comprehensive photographic and written
record of the element to be removed is completed.
7.2.5
POLICIES RELATED TO THE PHYSICAL SETTING AND LANDSCAPE
ISSUES WITHIN THE STUDY BOUNDARY
The immediate setting for Fremantle Town Hall largely comprises King’s
Square, with the additional strip along the William Street side of the building. In
1984 a policy was adopted for King’s Square, and this was later revised in
1990. The policy, D.G. F23 King’s Square-Bounded by Adelaide, Newman,
Queen, and William Streets, Fremantle, recognises King’s Square as the City’s
most formal square, provides guidelines for ongoing development, guidelines
for the allocation of space, and discuses appropriate uses.
A number of improvements are suggested where appropriate, and some
general improvements are also recommended.
26. The Fig Trees should be managed to ensure that the crowns are
lifted sufficiently to maintain vistas. Consideration should be
given to removing large boughs that impinge on vistas above the
lift crown zone.
Boughs from the trees cut across the vistas and some tree management
would greatly improve the presentation of the High Street axis.
27. Planters in King’s Square are incompatible with its civic nature and
should be removed.
The planters are not of high quality and the plants in them struggle to survive.
They are not compatible with the nature of a civic place and should be
removed.
28. Pavings to William Street should be replaced with a material more
compatible with that in King’s Square.
The pavings are a mixture of pre-1984 interlocking bricks and some paving
experiments that were carried out in the 1984-5 period. The footpath is in poor
condition and detracts from the William Street frontage of the Fremantle Town
Hall.
29. Market stalls proposed in D.G. F23, if proceeded with, should be
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 96
re-designed and be of a high quality contemporary design
befitting a civic square.
Designs proposed in the policy are historically referenced and appear to be
harking back to a nineteenth century type. A very high quality contemporary
design would be more appropriate if the market stall notion is still to proceed.
30. Public art has become an integral part of King’s Square and adds
to the available experiences in the Square. Public art is compatible
with a civic square. Any future proposals for the inclusion of
public art must be carefully considered in terms of location and
type to ensure that the proposal will be beneficial to the heritage
values and presentation of the Fremantle Town Hall and its
environs.
The pieces to date are popular, of a high quality and are well placed. Vigilance
must be maintained to ensure that standards are adhered to and that future
work will not result in visual clutter that detracts from the presentation of the
Town Hall and King’s Square.
31. The eastern end of the axis of High Street, south of the street
alignment should be further developed to encourage a variety of
activities and to focus more attention on King’s Square.
A brief for a range of relevant uses should be developed and a design
commissioned for the area, ensuring that the street axis remains clear and that
the impact is beneficial to the square and Town Hall.
32. The left over space between the Town Hall and Town Hall Centre
on William Street should be developed with an urban solution to
fulfil functional requirements related to the buildings, and to
remove an unsightly building junction.
An unresolved junction, this is also an opportunity to improve the stage access
to the town hall, and tidy up a blighted area.
33. The reconstruction of the 1898 balcony to the auditorium’s High
Street entrance is recommended.
This would achieve a good reconstruction project, improve the High Street
axis, provide shelter to the northern auditorium doors, and give a visual
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 97
emphasis to these important doors.
34. Further development of the interpretation of the archaeological
remains of the first St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church is
recommended.
This project would provide instructive information on the church and also
provide some information on the relevance of archaeology. The costs would
be low and the benefits high and assist to develop public information for
conservation.
36 A section of church railings should be reconstructed.
The nature of King’s Square has changed completely since the palings were in
place. However, a section for interpretive purposes would instructive.
Impact of the Setting and Surrounding Development
37. Any future development of the site should have due cognisance of
the heritage values of the Fremantle Town Hall and must ensure
that the significance of the place is not diminished by obscuring
significant elements.
Future development of adjoining or nearby land should not detract from the
significance of the Fremantle Town Hall.
The height of any future development is critical and should respect the height
of the Fremantle Town Hall, to ensure that its landmark values are retained.
New development should allow a transition in scale between the height of the
Fremantle Town Hall and new development, in order to retain the prominence
of the town hall building. The height and bulk of additional development must
visually complement the Town Hall.
New buildings should be designed in a contemporary manner, be of a high
standard and should have a visual weight less than the solid mass of the town
hall building. They should allow the Town Hall to retain its visual prominence
New buildings need to be visually articulated to ensure that there are no long
unbroken planes of materials. The rhythm of the existing buildings on Adelaide
Street may be a useful tool to assist articulation of wall planes. Ground floor
frontages should be interactive with the street.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 98
New development should, in no way, imitate the architectural language of
historic buildings in the context, or create the impression of being
contemporaneous with them, but rather be of high quality contemporary
design.
38. Any future development of the site adjacent to the town hall
should respect the heritage values of the place and allow the Town
Hall to retain its visual prominence.
39. The City should maintain a dialogue with the owners of the
buildings along Newman Street to ensure that interactive
frontages are developed. Food and beverage related uses would
be beneficial to King’s Square.
Although there does not appear to be an immediate prospect for change, the
opportunity will eventually arise to achieve a more interactive frontage. A more
interactive frontage would benefit King’s Square and therefore Fremantle Town
Hall. A change of use may be the time to negotiate a good urban design
outcome for the Newman Street frontage of this site.
40. The City should ensure that any development of the High Street
Mall gives consideration to the opening up of the vista between
Fremantle Town Hall/King’s Square and the Round House and
avoids the introduction of further visual clutter.
Since the closure of High Street a number of improvement schemes have been
tried to enhance the mall and to make it more attractive to pedestrians. The
resulting visual clutter is unattractive and the introduction of trees has
obscured one of the city’ most important vistas. A new design must balance
user requirements and the bigger concept of re-opening the vista.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 99
Figure
35.
Possible Future Development Zones
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 100
7.2.6
POLICIES RELATED TO THE PHYSICAL SETTING
41. Fremantle Town Hall was originally set in simple open grounds,
with the intention of High Street running through King’s Square.
The concept of the vista created by High Street should be retained,
strengthened, and interpreted.
Although High Street has been closed for many years, the High Street vista
remains an important one. The vista should be kept open and its lines
strengthened by a linear King’s Square development coinciding with the street
alignment/axis. There are opportunities for interpretation beyond that achieved
at present by the use of linear paving patterns of the street alignment to
represent such things as footpath and road delineation, and the route to the
tram tracks. Interpretive art or information about this iteration of the square
may be alternative solutions.
42. King’s Square is the city’s largest square and its only truly civic
one. Permanent activities in the square should reflect its civic
dignity, especially in proximity of the Fremantle Town Hall.
Activities of a temporary nature may be more informal in nature.
The immediate context of the Town Hall should remain formal and essentially a
hard landscape, and should refect its civic nature. Uses that require
equipment and fittings should not be permanently based in the vicinity of the
Town Hall, so as to trivialise its dignity or create permanent visual clutter.
Temporary uses, providing they are occasional, can be more informal and less
controlled in terms of the fabric associated with them.
7.2.7
INTERPRETATION
43. Further interpretation should be professionally prepared for
Fremantle Town Hall and be sited in visually accessible places.
Interpretative material should be based upon Documentary and
Physical Evidence, and further research as required.
There are numerous opportunities for interpretation at the place, with the re-
construction of missing elements being one of them. Much of the material in
King’s Square relates to interpretation of other events and people, celebrated
through the use of public art. The Town Hall deserves a more comprehensive
approach.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 101
External interpretation opportunities include developing the archaeological
resources of the original St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, the story of
the acquisition of the site for the Town Hall, the design alternatives, a
discussion of the style of the building, and information on Grainger and D’Ebro
and Grainger’s later move to Western Australia to become Chief Architect of
the Public Works Department. Graphic material should be included.
Internal interpretation should include a more detailed account of the acquisition
of the building, its evolution, conservation and adaptation The numerous
photographs that are available should be included, and consideration should be
given to the use of film footage in the form of a video display. The use of
photographs and plans referred to in this report could be part of an instructive
display. The interpretation should address the original use and design of the
place, the development of the place, its transformation into its present form,
and its historic and social significance. Interpretation may also be worked into
public art as it has been with other interpretive art work in the square.
External interpretation should be considered as part of the city-wide strategy.
The signage could be designed as part of an overall coordinated strategy and
linked into a heritage trail.
44.
The refurbishment of the council chambers, mayor’s parlour
and access to the clock tower should be implemented as part of
the interpretation of the place and its functions and interpretive
material installed in each of these prime locations.
Other forms of interpretation might be considered, if appropriate.
45.
Interpretative signage, describing Conservation Works in
progress, should be provided.
Interpretive material describing Conservation Works in progress is
recommended. Interpretation of Conservation Works while works are in
progress is useful, instructive, and re-assuring for the community, when works
are being undertaken on a heritage place.
7.3
POLICIES ARISING FROM THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE PLACE
46.
Works identified developed in the section on Conservation
Works, should be attended to so that the significance of the
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 102
place is maintained. Urgent works should be attended to within
five years.
Items identified as urgent should be attended to shortly to prevent further and
possibly costly deterioration of the fabric identified or of adjacent materials.
Examples of urgent works include; attending to falling damp, flashings, gutters,
downpipes, external joinery, roof repairs, including roof fixings and the like.
47.
It is recommended that a structural engineer check the current
condition of the roof structure, access walkways, the glazed
roof structure, structural timber more generally, and matters
such as the stability of parapet walls and flues. The inspection
might be part of an implementation program. The
recommendations should be implemented in the priority order
recommended by the engineer.
There were no specific issues raised by the site inspections other than general
fabric deterioration and rusting fixings at roof level. Prior to the conservation
and adaptation works commencing, an engineer’s advice on the condition of
the main structural elements would be useful and is highly recommended.
48.
Pest control inspections should be implemented on a regular
basis and any treatment required should be executed within the
recommended time frames.
Such inspections are required to maintain the fabric of the building and should
be undertaken regularly, as the area is prone to termite infestation. Particular
attention should be paid to ensuring that voids are not infected with vermin and
that fungal, termite or other wood-boring insects are not present in timber. The
inspection of the building did not involve removing flooring or floor coverings in
the remaining timber floor sections, but it would appear that floors were sound.
There was no obvious evidence of termite damage or infestation noted during
the inspections.
49.
If termite infestation becomes persistent, an irrigated termite
barrier or bait system should be considered.
50.
It is believed that all hazardous material was removed in work
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 103
areas during the conservation works of 1985-8. Some areas like
the change rooms were not part of the program and these
rooms may still contain hazardous materials. All hazardous
material must be handled with due care and attention, and in
accordance with Government Standards and
‘Worksafe’ or
Occupational Health and Safety regulations.
The inspections carried out as part of this Conservation and Management Plan
revealed no remaining hazardous material. However, backstage rooms may
contain fibrous cement, which should either be removed or handled in
accordance with regulations when change, cutting, drilling, or removal occurs.
There may be other locations, which are not so readily apparent. None of
these items are significant and may be removed as part of the conservation
and adaptation work.
Work on the roof in all locations would be regarded as hazardous due to the
heights and roof pitches. The introduction of static lines should be considered
when the roof is next undergoing major repairs. The design of such
installations should be carefully considered to reduce the visual impact of the
installed components.
51.
Regular maintenance and repair of the elements of the place
should continue to be carried out after conservation and
adaptation, having due regard to the significance of the fabric
and this Conservation Policy.
52.
Once the conservation and adaptation works are complete, a
Maintenance Plan should be devised that sets out a program of
regular inspections, maintenance and repair works. The plan
should include specific direction on the manner in which work
is to be undertaken, particularly where replacement work is
involved.
This plan should be professionally prepared and take into account the
resources of the owners and the relative importance of the various tasks. The
plan would best be prepared for the town hall building and its immediate setting
only, to assist with day-to-day maintenance management, with conservation
work identified so that such works can be implemented with the appropriate
professional advice, when required.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 104
The inspections should be based on the provisional periodical inspection
schedule suggested in Appendix III.
53.
All major conservation and adaptation works should be directed
by a heritage professional with skill in the care of historic
places.
7.4
EXTERNAL REQUIREMENTS
7.4.1
CURRENT HERITAGE LISTINGS
In 1992 it was included in the Heritage Council’s Register of Heritage Places on
an interim basis and on a permanent basis in 1993.
Municipal Inventory
In 2000, Fremantle Town Hall was included in the City of Fremantle’s Municipal
Heritage Inventory, with a recommendation for inclusion in the Register of
Heritage Places, a process that had already been completed. The Muncipal
Inventory has no statutory or a strong effect until the place is included in a list
of heritage places in the Town Planning Scheme.
National Trust of Australia
The Fremantle Town Hall was classified by with National Trust of Australia (W.
A.) in 1974. Classification by the National Trust has no legal obligations with
respect to the place, but classification may mean that the National Trust plays
an advocacy role in promoting the conservation of the place.
Australian Heritage Commission
The Fremantle Town Hall was included on the Register of the National Estate in
1978. Inclusion in the Register of the National Estate by the Australian
Heritage Commission has no legal obligations with respect to the place.
However, obligations may arise through grants provided by the Commonwealth
for any conservation or development programs.
Heritage Council of Western Australia
The Fremantle Town Hall was assessed by the Heritage Council of Western
Australia and was entered on the Register of Heritage Places on an interim
basis in 1992 and a permanent basis in 1993. The Heritage Council has
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 105
statutory powers with respect to a place included on the Register, under the
Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990. (See Section 7.4.2) Importantly, under
Section 78 of the Act, all development must be referred to the Heritage Council
for its advice, if the place is registered. The Council may also seek to condition
grant monies provided by the Council in connection with any Conservation
Works. The City of Fremantle would remain the planning authority.
Fremantle City Centre Urban Design Strategy (1996)
The strategy is aimed at maintaining and improving the city centre and sets up
some guiding principles to highlight and maintain the City’s heritage, to make it
a welcoming and safe place, to make it diverse, prosperous, convenient,
memorable and sustainable. Fremantle Town Hall is one of the focus
landmarks identified in the study and King’s Square is one of the major open
spaces identified for improvement. High Street is identified as one of the most
significant vistas in the City, notwithstanding that the vista is not fully available
at present. Fremantle Town Hall also falls into the area identified for
consolidation in terms of the retail core.
The conservation of the Fremantle Town Hall and improvement of its setting
are important components of the Urban Design Strategy.
Lighting Strategy Report 2001, Sage Consulting Engineers
The report covered lighting for the whole of the city and recommends that the
traditional Novalux poles continue in use around King’s Square, with
Washington luminaires with 150W metal halide lamps.
The report also recommended flood lighting for the town hall building.
54.
The Lighting Strategy Report 2001 is compatible with the
conservation of the Fremantle Town Hall and improvements to
lighting should follow the recommendations in respect of street
and building lighting.
D.G.F14 Fremantle West End Conservation Area Policy
The objective of this policy is to create an awareness of West End heritage so
as to enable preservation and enhancement of the area and facilitate
sympathetic redevelopment whilst giving guidance to Council’s discretionary
powers under Town Planning Scheme No. 3. The area is on the Register of
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 106
the National Estate. Section 4.5.2 (a) deals with King’s Square and the matters
covered by the policy are in accord with the recommendations of the
Conservation and Management Plan. Building heights around the square are
defined in this document, together with use and movement.
55. The policies contained in D.G.F14 Fremantle West End
Conservation Area Policy that relate to King’s Square and the
Fremantle Town Hall are conducive to the conservation of the
place and are endorsed by this Conservation and Management
Plan.
D.E.
1 Landscaping Policy for the Central Fremantle and Main
Approaches to the City.
The report covers the whole area, other than King’s Square.
Fremantle City Plan 2000-2005.
The report covers the whole area and contains some specific policies in
respect of conservation. The contents of this report are compatible with the
Fremantle City Plan 2000-2005.
Cultural Policy and Plan 1999.
The report covers a wide range of issues and sets in place some guiding
principles. The contents of this report are compatible with the Cultural Policy
and Plan 1999
7.4.2
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS
56. The provisions of the City of Fremantle Town Planning Scheme
No. 3, Building Code of Australia and Health Act, Disability
Discrimination Act and Fire Safety Regulations apply, as with any
building. The Heritage Council may support the waiving or easing
of requirements where important conservation objectives might be
achieved by doing so, and where health and safety will not be
compromised.
Unlike other acts and regulatory devices, the Heritage of Western Australia Act
1990 binds the Crown. Where compliance with a regulation or by-law would
compromise the heritage value of the building, the Heritage Council's advice
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 107
should be sought. The Heritage Council may be able to assist in relaxing
conditions, where it is sufficiently important to do so. This is only likely to occur
on matters of the greatest cultural heritage significance.
57.
The provisions for disabled access will need to be enhanced to
make the building more usable, to sustain its use, and underpin
its future conservation. The manner of implementation will
require careful integration with the significant aspects of the
place.
Access for the disabled is important if the building’s utility is to be improved. A
lift type and location has been considered and a recommended solution is
included in the section on recommended conservation and adaptation works.
Depending on the configuration of alternative uses, means of escape may also
be an issue to be resolved. For example, if the Town Hall Centre’s future
involves a redevelopment, means of escape from the first floor level will require
an alternative resolution to ensure that the BCA is met.
Any of these issues will need to be addressed in a way that does not further
erode the significance of the place and should be capable of a resolution
outside the envelope of the original building.
7.5
REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES OF THE CLIENT
The City of Fremantle commissioned this Conservation and Management Plan,
some nine years after Considine and Griffiths Architects prepared Fremantle
Town Hall, Conservation Analysis and Plan. In the intervening period, for the
most part during the course of 1985 and 1988, the town hall was transformed
from a utilitarian appearance, with a number of important spaces that failed to
entice users, into a well used, partly conserved, and much appreciated part of
the City’s resources.
The task of revealing and conserving the place received major impetus that
arose from Fremantle’s hosting of the America’s Cup Defence and was a
lasting legacy of the opportunity that this climate produced. The work on the
Fremantle Town Hall, the Administration Centre, and King’s Square was funded
by the Commonwealth and State governments, together with resources from
the City, both financial and through the City’s professional staff.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 108
Fremantle Town Hall, Conservation Analysis and Plan made numerous
recommendations, and further opportunities were revealed in the conservation
process. The resources available to implement all of these recommendations
and opportunities were not available during the busy three-year period of the
initial project and many worthwhile and important tasks were left for the future.
The task of this study was to document the nine years since the completion of
the first study, to include additional relevant information, to test the values and
statement of significance, and to devise new and very specific conservation
policies and recommendations to guide the future development of the Town
Hall. The study is confined to the Town Hall and does not deal with Fremantle
Town Hall Centre as there is separate strategic work being done on the future
of the council and its accommodation.
The thrust of the recommendations of this plan is to pick up on
recommendations that remain unrealised, to improve access, and usability of
the Town Hall. It also looks at ways of better revealing the place, improving its
presentation in the City, making its entrances attractive, and making the place
‘the number one room in the City’.
The Conservation and Management Plan is intended to guide the City on the
conservation and development of the place, and to give very specific guidance
on the range of recommendations canvassed, rather than providing decision-
making parameters that is the usual province of conservation plans.
This Conservation and Management Plan is a guiding document relevant to the
future management of the place. Ongoing maintenance, and the further
adaptation of the interior spaces for the changing requirements, are issues
which can, and do, impinge on the conservation of the heritage values of the
place. Informed maintenance will ensure that nothing deleterious to the
significant fabric, will be done. Also, with an understanding of the place, further
change may be capable of better revealing the spaces and elements of
significance.
The Conservation and Management Plan identifies potential works, in addition
to essential works, and included in them are works which will better reveal the
heritage significance of the place and make it a more useful place. The city
should undertake these works as the conditions arise and the resources
become available.
(See Section 7.8) Some suggestions with respect to
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 109
priority are given, as well as an indication of costs, so that resources can be
allocated in future programs.
7.5
.1
CONSTRAINTS AND OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM THE
REQUIREMENTS, RESOURCES AND EXPECTATIONS OF THE CITY.
The City of Fremantle is a leader in conservation. Fremantle Town Hall is one
of its prime heritage assets. The resource is under-utilised and some of the
uses to which it is currently put are inappropriate. To make better uses of the
space and to allow a higher degree of utilisation, the facilities and access must
be improved. The city is keen to have a plan of approach and a priority order
for implementation works, so that conservation and improvement works can be
implemented in an orderly manner when resources permit.
As the City has limited resources, the tasks in section 7.8 have been split into
programs that might be achieved over time with resources from within the city,
and perhaps grant programs. Conservation works would be eligible for funding
under the Lotterywest Heritage Grants Program and the Cultural Heritage
Projects Program. Adaptation works would need to be funded from Council
resources.
When change is undertaken, there are many opportunities to realise
conservation objectives, and there is certainly an obligation to control the way
in which change takes place in order to conserve heritage values.
In terms of some general guidance: -
58. When seeking to adapt a particular part of the place for alternative
use, there should be due regard to the policies outlined in this
Conservation and Management Plan. Adaptations should be
distinguishable and cause the least disruption to the significant
spaces and fabric. The introduction of services should be
handled in a manner that causes least disruption of the spaces
and fabric.
59. Where new services are essential, the services should generally be
left exposed and chasing and cutting avoided, with installations
being designed in the least intrusive manner.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 110
Previous adaptation works completed in the
1985-6 program generally
observed these principles. Some of the work completed since, has been less
controlled, especially the installation of air conditioning.
Future conservation and adaptation should be carefully controlled so that the
city’s commitment to heritage conservation is carried through in a proper
manner.
7.5.2
POSSIBLE COMMUNITY ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS REGARDING
THE PLACE.
60.
The significant elements of the Fremantle Town Hall, including
its setting, should be conserved to meet with community
expectations. The key aspects that are likely to be of concern to
the community include; its external appearance, landmark value
and the function of the place. The expectation would best be
achieved by continued conservation of its significant elements,
improvement of its setting, maintenance and presentation, and
more intensive use, together with suitable interpretation.
Fremantle Town Hall is a much loved place, both as a local landmark and as
one of Fremantle’s emblems, and is widely regarded throughout the State.
Most studies on the future of Fremantle include the town hall and square as
one of the most important city assets and attest to its civic value. If tested in
the community there would be a widely held expectation that the place would
be conserved and would continue to serve a useful purpose. Implementation
of the recommendations in this conservation plan, improvements in utility, and
the promotion of the asset would go a long way towards meeting community
expectations.
7.5.3
SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS OR OTHER CULTURAL CONSTRAINTS.
61.
There is no evidence to suggest that there are social, religious,
or other constraints applicable to access or investigation of the
Fremantle Town Hall. The Statements of Significance should be
used as the key tool for managing values.
The significance of the place as a town hall is diminished by the present low
utility of the spaces other than the auditorium and courtyard. Its aesthetic,
historic and social values, in general, remain intact and its continuing use as a
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 111
place for performance and ceremony underpins much of its heritage value.
There is nothing to suggest that there would be any community concern
beyond the retention, care for, and ongoing and better use of the place.
Carefully considered adaptive uses and new uses on the site are capable of
being compatible with the place.
7.5.4
OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTIGATION.
62.
Opportunities for investigation of the place should be realised
when possible, to gain a better understanding of the place, its
development and construction, and for the purposes of
diagnosis, conservation and interpretation.
It is important that investigations should be relevant to the conservation and
interpretation of the place. Investigative works should be carried out in
locations where there is little possibility of adversely impacting on conspicuous,
significant locations. Investigations should not to be carried out without a well-
founded purpose, or by inexperienced people without experienced people in
attendance. They should be professionally documented and recorded. Where
archaeological investigations are required, these must be carried out under the
supervision of an experienced historical archaeologist. Specific budget
allocations can be made at the time when projects are planned, which will
present suitable opportunities for investigation. These costs should be
considered as part of the project cost.
Investigations should be undertaken in areas where Documentary Evidence
suggests that previous historic elements once existed, and where subsequent
construction would not have removed this evidence. Investigation need only
take place if it is proposed to disturb potential sites.
Sites with archaeological potential include; the site of the original St. John the
Evangelist Church. Other matters of interest include the road and path
alignments in King’s Square and the location of the tramlines.
Matters for further investigation include decorative paint finishes throughout,
other than the auditorium which has been thoroughly researched.
7.6
COMPATIBLE USE
The present use of the Fremantle Town Hall is compatible with conserving the
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 112
significance of the place. However, other than the auditorium and courtyard,
the place is under-utilised.
Once access and services are upgraded, future uses should be considered to
improve the level of utilisation. Any uses that do not adversely impact on
significance and that contribute to the life of the building should be considered.
Future uses should be evaluated against the necessity for change that might
be required to achieve them. Uses that require further major change to those
parts of the place which are significant should not be considered, or if
necessary, considered with an interpretive outcome for the loss of significant
fabric.
Uses that would enable the removal of intrusive elements and the
reinstatement of significant spaces should be encouraged. Spaces in this
class include any of the major ground floor spaces. Uses that allow the major
spaces to be read as whole spaces are acceptable. Uses that require the
original room patterns, or parts of room patterns, to be resumed are also
acceptable.
63.
Compatible uses should not involve changes to culturally
significant fabric, which are not substantially reversible. They
should involve changes that would require minimal impact and
would allow significance to be revealed.
(Refer to Burra Charter- Article
1 - Definition
1.10, Graded Zones of
Significance and Section 7.2.4)
64.
Uses that have the potential to allow further reconstruction of
missing elements should be encouraged and explored.
Most compatible uses have the potential to accommodate this objective and to
achieve some worthwhile conservation and reconstruction.
Alternative uses would need to be in accordance with the City of Fremantle
Town Planning Scheme No.3.
Alternative uses requiring additional development may also be acceptable,
providing the additional development allows the town hall building to remain the
dominant visual element, as previously noted.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 113
7.7
RECORDS
It is important that those responsible for future planning and conservation
works have access to all available material pertaining to the development and
evolution of the place, so that informed decisions may be made which are
consistent with the cultural heritage values of the place. Records pertaining to
work on original fabric are particularly important for future decision-making.
This, however, has proved elusive to date and only a fragment of the original
plan has been located. The plan was drawn for the construction of a part of
the town hall, prior to the ratepayer’s demands for a complete town hall. There
is a large number of photographs to assist with conservation, but these only
cover the exterior and a limited number of internal locations. This material
should be used in tandem with the Conservation and Management Plan. The
gathering of further material is encouraged.
65. Complete records of the place should be collected, accessioned
and stored by the owner and a copy kept on site, to assist with the
detailed conservation of the place. Storage should be to
reasonable archival standards and documents should not be
removed, except for supervised copying purposes.
7.8
RECOMMENDED CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT WORKS
The works below are divided into two types, conservation works and
improvement works. The former ensures that the fabric is properly conserved
and the latter improves the utility of the place and its environs.
7.8.1
Conservation Works
Essential Works - Short Term - Works to be undertaken within two
years:
Conservation of the place.
Carry out a structural investigation of roofs and metal fixings exposed
to weather. Carry out works in the priority recommended by the
engineer’s report. $
Check roof drainage and replace and repair gutters and downpipes as
required. $
Provide protective cappings, or apply waterproof treatments to all
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 114
parapet caps and then repair damp affected stucco and plasters to
walls below water ingress locations. $
Remove all corroding and loose custom orb roof fixings and replace
with longer fixings where no effective bond has been achieved. $
Repair or replace chimney and parapet flashings and rainwater goods.
New rainwater goods to match original rainwater good profiles. $
Replace all missing and rotting roof timber trims, including barge caps,
fascias, scotias and the like. $
Carry out a survey of all external joinery, plan remedial works,
schedule urgent tasks, implement strategies, and then make good to
finishes. Restore all windows to operational order. $
Remove redundant and intrusive services and make good to existing
fabric. $
Re-putty all windows on exposed faces (i.e. joinery not protected by
courtyard). Replace badly deteriorated timbers and re-paint on
completion. $
Replace all roof flashings and valley gutters to second floor
accommodation, and line out the William Street gutter to the second
floor parapet. Repair internal downpipe if possible, or replace with
external downpipe. $
Replace all eave gutters with profiles to match existing. $
Remove plain galvanized iron roofing to William Street pavilions and
re-roof with soft zinc with traditional rolled seamed joints. $
When rainwater goods, flashings and the like are repaired to the
above, repair plasterboard ceilings and wall linings to second floor
accommodation.
Remove cladding to dormer window cheeks are re-clad with soft zinc.
Check performance of structural ties to High Street frontage of
auditorium and remediate as required. $
Remove and replace all roof access planking. $
Service toilet exhaust and flue, replace corroded parts and treat all
metal parts. $
Clean out rooms and remove combustible, redundant material
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 115
wherever possible. $
Repair floors to whole of second floor, then re-finish. $
Prepare and re-paint all external joinery and metalwork, in accordance
with the evidence obtained, by means of paint scrapes. $
Investigate options for revealing original stucco and implement action
in accordance with findings and feasible treatment. $
Take down, service and paint all flagpoles and ensure fixings are
sound. $
Carry out a detailed inspection of the clock tower and repair all staging
joists, flooring, handrails, guardrails and the like. $
Remove balustrade to clock tower. Renew lead roof to clock tower
platform with soft zinc roofing, then refix rust treated balustrade. $
Repair folding doors to G18. $
Desirable Works - Medium Term - Works to be undertaken within two to
five years:
Conservation of the place
Replace tiled roofing throughout and investigate the practicability of the
reconstruction of slate roofs. $
Reconstruct finials to roof tops. $
Fix mirror in storage over fireplace to F 15. $
Reinstate verandah to ground floor High Street entrance of auditorium
to give emphasis to the High Street entrance. $
Patch all cracking and monitor for movement. $
Prepare paint scrapes of interior walls and joinery, and consider
redecorating those rooms in need of re-decoration, in accordance
with the Physical Evidence, where this is compatible with the existing
or intended uses. $
Investigate for possible dado treatments and reinstate. $
Complete the reconstruction of paint works to the auditorium. $
Re-assess the need for air-conditioning of perimeter rooms, and if
required, install the least intrusive system compatible with giving the
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 116
required service. $
Interpretation
Introduce appropriate interpretation by refurbishing the council
chambers, reconstructing the mayor’s parlour and making the clock
tower room accessible, preparing and introducing interpretive material
and a hanging system to allow the displays to be changed readily. $
Optional Works - Long Term - Works to be undertaken within five to ten
years.
Some of these tasks may be undertaken when the existing materials, or fabric,
require substantial repair or replacement.
Conservation
Open up all blocked in fireplaces and reconstruct surrounds in
accordance with physical evidence. $
Interpretation
Further develop the original St. John the Evangelist Church
archaeological site as a resource. Lower a section of the paving to the
archaeological material level, complete with steps, lighting and
interpretation $
Consider reinstatement of any major missing elements or spaces
where compatible with present or intended use.
Improvement of the setting
Reconsider external lighting as the opportunity arises. Install light
fittings that have a low visual impact and highlight the town hall, giving
prominence to its entrances and clock tower. $
7.8.2
Improvement Works
Essential Works - Short Term - Works to be undertaken within two
years:
Improvement of the place and increasing utility.
Install a disabled person’s restricted access lift in the location
indicated on the drawings, to provide access to the first floor rooms of
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 117
the town hall and locally ramp verandah floor to take up difference in
accommodation and verandah floor levels. $
Desirable Works - Medium Term - Works to be undertaken within two to
five years:
Improvement of the place and increasing utility.
Install a canopy over the William Street entrance doors as indicated on
the drawings to improve the presence of the town hall in the street. $
Improve stage access and implement an infill development linking the
Town Hall Centre and Fremantle Town Hall to improve the street
presentation of the buildings and to remove an unsightly left over
space. In the event of a redevelopment of the Town Hall Centre,
careful consideration should be given to stage access. $
Upgrade kitchen and function catering facilities in the rooms G14, 15 &
16. $
Create technical services room in G4, install data and phone lines. $
Install picture hanging system in courtyard around walled perimeter. $
Upgrade courtyard lighting. $
Replace courtyard downpipes. $
Relight supper room and install perimeter-hanging system for
presentation of art. $
Conduct new acoustic tests of auditorium, and implement
recommendations to improve performance for speech. $
Improvement of the setting.
Take up the pavings in the William Street footpath and install pavings
consistent with King’s Square paving. $
Remove planter tubs in King’s Square. $
Optional Works - Long Term - Works to be undertaken within five to ten
years.
Some of these tasks may be undertaken when the existing materials, or fabric,
require substantial repair or replacement.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 118
Improvement of the place and increasing utility.
Completely remove and replace toilet facilities to the ground floor of
the town hall. $
Either relocate backstage change and toilet facilities or substantially
upgrade the existing facilities, by making into single sex rooms, and
changing stair to increase access to stage. $
Provide retractable seating (say Acromat) and storage in the form of a
hydraulically operated orchestra pit/operable floor to optimise the use
of the auditorium. Provide access to under-stage via lift. $
Remove cool room and install bar in G14. $
Improve width of store doors to under-stage from passage. $
Reconfigure stage lighting system and upgrade. $
Acoustically seal stage doors and windows to G18 and introduce new
access from supper room. $
Remove existing canopy and paving to William Street entrance of
Town Hall Centre, re-pave and then create a new large canopy. $
Improvement of the setting.
Re-pave High Street axis with stone, re-demarcate the original St
John the Evangelist Church footprint as noted above.. $
Remove eastern end stair, reconfigure toilets to access off High
Street, café, and form a new after hours entrance to council facilities
complete with lift. Extend area of seating available to café. Use old
café area for library expansion
Form performance space with seating for 300 people alongside after
hours entrance near Newman and High Street junction, with water
element using Indigenous art as the visual resource. Ground to be
undulating with shallow water for visual effect and play. Provide a
shade structure over the above to shade café, water feature, and
performance space and play area. $
Improve lighting and surface treatments in Town Hall Centre arcade
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 119
and improve link to Auditorium of Town Hall. $
Review art in the square, then commission and install new works such
as a life sized John Curtin. $
7.9
CONCLUSION
This chapter outlines policies for the conservation of the place and
recommends Conservation Works and Improvement Works. It underpins a
strategy for implementation, which follows.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 120
TO BE INSERTED
Figure
36.
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works - Site Plan.
Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 121
Figure 3 7 . Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works - Ground Floor &
Basement Plans. Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 122
Figure 3 8 . Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works - First Floor Plan.
Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 123
Figure 3 9 . Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works - Second Floor Plan.
Considine & Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 124
TO BE INSERTED
Figure
40.
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works -Elevations. Considine &
Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 125
Figure
41.
Fremantle Town Hall, Fremantle - Conservation Works -Elevations. Considine &
Griffiths Architects, March 2004.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 126
8.0
POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
8.1
INTRODUCTION
This section is concerned with the implementation of the Conservation Policies
outlined in Section 7.0. It is intended to identify those who should be
responsible for the implementation of the various policies, when various
policies should be implemented and how the policies might best be
implemented to ensure the maintenance of the cultural significance of the
place. It is intended to identify those who should ensure that the fabric is
properly cared for, that adequate financial provision is made for care and
maintenance and that adequate interpretation for the understanding of the
place is maintained.
8.2
RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTING POLICIES
8.2.1
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY
The City of Fremantle has overall responsibility for the place and its
conservation and improvement. As the place is included on the Register of
Heritage Places, the Heritage Council of Western Australia has a mandatory
role to play, with respect to advice on development.
It is important for the city to draw on appropriate skills to ensure that correct
decisions are made with regard to conservation and the potential impact of
improvements and development on heritage values. It is therefore desirable
that the owner is guided by expert advice. A broad range of skills is necessary
to ensure that management is effective and that the plan is realised and
periodically reviewed in the light of experience and developments. Architects,
archaeologists, materials conservators and other professional disciplines
skilled in conservation, are well placed to offer specialised advice. A specialist
consultant could be appointed to assist with annual inspections and with the
implementation of works. It is likely that the skills of both a heritage architect
and an engineer with a heritage background would be required in the
foreseeable future, and an archaeologist for materials investigation and to
develop archaeological interpretation.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 127
8.2.2
RESPONSIBILITY
The city should ensure that all major decisions impacting on conservation are
resolved by reference to the Conservation and Management Plan and
achieved with appropriate professional conservation advice, where significant
streetscape, building elements. or spaces might be affected. The city should
seek appropriate professional heritage advice in a timely manner, ensure that
the Conservation and Management Plan regimes are being observed and
obtain appropriate approvals for work, when required.
All development, as defined under the Town Planning Scheme and Town
Planning Development Act, and the city must follow the requirements
prescribed. The City will need to seek the advice of the Heritage Council. As
previously noted.
8.2.3
RESPONSIBILITIES IN RELATION TO POLICIES
The owner of the place should retain the primary responsibility for the place
and obtain assistance from others, as required. The following outlines the
responsibilities of the various parties involved with the complex.
All Parties:
Procedural constraints arising from the Burra Charter (Section 7.2.1).
Procedural constraints arising from the Statement of Significance
(Section 7.2.2).
Policies arising from the Graded Zones of Significance (Section 7.2.4).
City of Fremantle, Professional Conservation Advisers, and Heritage
Council:
Policies related to the physical setting (Section 7.2.5).
Policies relating to external requirements (Section 7.4).
City of Fremantle and Professional Conservation Advisers:
Opportunities arising from the Statement of Significance (Section
7.2.3).
Interpretation (Section 7.2.6).
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 128
Policies arising from the physical condition of the place (Section 7.3).
Policies relating to community attitudes, expectations, social, religious,
or other cultural constraints (Sections 7.5.2 & 7.5.3).
Compatible use (Section 7.6).
City of Fremantle
Complete documentation (Section 7.0).
Management of the contents of the place.
Interpretation.
8.3
TIMEFRAME FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES
The time frame in relation to policies varies. The following classes of policy
should be achieved within the specified time frames:
Carry out essential Conservation Works within two years.
Carry out medium-term Conservation Works within two to five years.
Carry out long-term Conservation Works within five to ten years.
Review this Conservation and Management Plan at the expiry of five
years after its publication in the year
2009, or after completion of
major conservation works, which ever is the earliest.
8.4
SPECIFIC PROCESSES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES
The Conservation and Management Plan should be endorsed or accepted by
the city as the fundamental tool for the conservation of the place.
The recommended management structure and routines should be put into
place to ensure that the place is properly conserved and that the routines
outlined in this document are implemented in a rigorous manner. The
objectives of management are primarily:
Conservation of the significant context.
Conservation of the significant fabric and spaces.
Interpretation of the place.
Control over uses to ensure compatibility.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian
Page 129
Control of future development to conserve significance.
Commitment to on-going upkeep and maintenance.
Develop annual maintenance, conservation and improvement
programs.
Effectively promote the use of the place.
Periodically evaluate uses and ensure that all uses contribute to the
conservation of the place and to a lively town hall.
In addition to these general requirement the city should:
Commit capital funding for conservation and improvement works.
Seek funding assistance from agencies that fund not for profit
organisations, such as Lotterywest Heritage Grants Program and the
Cultural Heritage Projects Program.
FREMANTLE TOWN HALL
CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT MARCH 2004
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd with
Robin Chinnery Historian