List updated

HUNDREDS of historical buildings are in line to be added to Perth council’s Local Heritage Survey after being passed over for protection for more than 20 years. 

More than 700 old houses, shopfronts, inns were reviewed by heritage experts Element back in 2001 and recommended for inclusion on the LHS.

Having the historical details recorded in the LHS doesn’t stop any redevelopment, but it’s a baby step towards preservation as periodically properties on the survey are considered for entry into the more robust “Heritage List” which does confer protection.

But the council back in 2000 left off 308 of the recommended places. 

Under state government guidelines councils are meant to review their LHS every five to eight years, but no one’s had a look at Perth’s since 2000. 

The plan is to notify property owners and then any place that gets zero submissions during the public notification period will get added to the LHS. Any property that does get a submission will go to council for a vote.

A separate process is needed for any LHS properties to graduate to the proper protective Heritage List, which also comes with incentives like development bonuses or restoration grants.

New buildings up for LHS listing include:

• The state’s first Coca Cola factory which opened in 1944 at 471 Murray Street, considered “very important to the heritage of the locality”. It’s now vacant and graffitied;

• The 1946 Olympic Tyres building at 581 Murray Street, the first post-WWII building constructed in the city that “represents the recovering economy and the emergence of new business opportunities in Perth after war time rationing”. It’s recommended for the highest listing as it is a “rare or outstanding example” and “essential to the heritage of the locality”;

• Some more modern entries like the Mt Eliza Apartments near Kings Park, initially disliked when it was built in 1965 but now affectionately known as “The Thermos Flask” for its cylindrical shape with unusual projecting fins.

Old places lost in the past 20 years

• The 1890s Victorian cottages at 52, 54 and 56 Bennett Street, East Perth, which were ‘largely intact’ when assessed in 2001 but then demolished in 2003;

• The 1898 Freemason’s Hall at 122 Brown Street, built as Grand Lodge of WA to house the mason’s headquarters but demolished in 2002;

• The 1910 Queen Anne cottage at 21 Colin Street that later became a restaurant, then became vacant and burned down suspiciously in 2014;

• The 1893 Roman-style Read Buildings at 929 Hay Street, highly valued for its luxurious aesthetic representing the affluence of the gold boom era, but demolished in 2003.

by DAVID BELL

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