FREMANTLE mayor Brad Pettitt wants his council to buy two restored warders’ cottages, as they’re now ready for sale.
State heritage minister Albert Jacob will officially put them on the market on November 3.
Dr Pettitt says the council could turn the heritage-listed cottages beside the Fremantle Markets into small bars or restaurants.
Cr Pettitt says the council has already budgeted to buy at least one of the cottages.
“It would be good to have some diversity of use there and not have the cottages used solely for residential,” he says.
“Something like a small bar or restaurant could work.
“Short-stay accommodation could be a possibility, but I’m not convinced with the noise and location that long-term residential will be a success.”
On November 16 the event “Back to the Warders” will bring together ex-residents — largely ex-prison officers, their families and Homeswest residents — in a celebration of the cottages’ social history and the role it played in shaping Fremantle’s history.
Attendees will include premier Colin Barnett, ex-South Fremantle footballer John Gerovich, whose immortalised in the sculpture on the roundabout outside Freo Oval, and three generations of the Taylor family, including 91-year-old Doreen who raised seven children and one grandchild in a cottage in the 1960s.
The cottages, built in the 1850s, were originally used to house warders of Fremantle’s world heritage-listed Fremantle Prison.
They were purchased by the housing department in 1991 and used as public housing until 2011, after which the cottages were deemed unsuitable for tenants.
In May 2014, the state government announced it was spending $2 million on restoring the cottages.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK