FREMANTLE is a constant surprise–you never know what you’ll find behind a heritage facade or down a laneway.
Having seen the photos for this abode I was puzzled when the agent took me through automatic steel gates to a modern, secure garage.
The building was once a bishop’s residence, and a boarding house, before becoming Mercantile Stevedores’ warehouse in 1898.
I may have been more prepared for the soaring timber “front” doors I was about to step through, if I’d paused to look at the front of the building, rather than rushing to get out of the sun.
The vendor converted the former warehouse into two apartments, including the one he’s lived in for the past 16 years. (Part of Notre Dame’s school of medicine is on street level).
The result is a stunning three-bedroom apartment, covering 430sqm, that wouldn’t look out of place on a smart street in Rome.
A gargantuan, glass-roofed, conservatory greets visitors as they top a gracious limestone staircase.
Reaching high overhead, soaring ficus trees create a veritable forest canopy, the rich green contrasting with the limestone-coloured walls and floor, while the gentle tinkle of a water feature is a soothing touch.
Floor-to-ceiling glass doors flank this magical space, with two huge bedrooms one side and a prodigious living/dining/kitchen the other.
A baby grand piano and a cello are dwarfed by the size of the voluminous living area, where timber gantries soar overhead and a massive limestone fireplace (gas powered) adds to the air of gracious living on a grand scale.
The commodious kitchen has a Mediterranean look and feel, with it’s golden timber bench tops, including an island bench with a wine rack, and a walk-in-pantry.
Nearby a spiral staircase leads to a roof garden, with stunning views across Fremantle’s roof tops from Bathers Beach and the Esplanade Reserve, to the port and the Maritime Museum.
With a built-in barbeque it’s a great spot to catch the early sea breeze and watch the sun set over the ocean while the snags cook.
The main bedroom is a vast space, where soaring double doors can be closed to create two bedrooms, without losing a sense of scale.
Each bedroom has its own ensuite, and statuesque glass doors onto the conservatory.
Leave them open, and you’ll wake up to an enchanted forest glade.
The third bedroom is on the ground floor, and with its own bathroom is perfect for guests.
This is a rare chance to secure an inner-city abode, with grace and charm.
by JENNY D’ANGER
29 Henry St, Fremantle
late $2m to early $3m
0451 533 878
0409 300 600