Society urges uni West End rethink

THE Fremantle Society has called on Notre Dame University to scrap its West End activation plans and instead reinstate a swag of verandahs and other historic features.

President John Dowson said the Chook’s description last week of a need for some renovation in the heritage-listed precinct didn’t accurately convey the society’s desire for full restorations.

“While there has been some renovation, there has been little restoration,” a society report says about a 2012 memorandum of understanding the uni signed with Fremantle council.

• The Travellers’ Rest building in Marine Terrace has an “albino” facade compared to its heyday, says the Fremantle Society.

Cash-in-lieu

The report claims that the university was let off $86,000 of cash-in-lieu payments on the proviso it reinstated the verandahs of the old Watson’s building on the corner of High and Mouat Streets, but that wasn’t done.

“The verandahs add value, protect pedestrians and provide more usable space.”

The report describes the P&O Hotel as “headless and greatly diminished” because its corner cupola and finials have disappeared.

• The Hotel Fremantle is missing its tower and cupola.

The society also claims NDU should be obligated to reinstate the verandahs of His Majesty’s Hotel on the corner of Phillimore and Mouat Streets because it was a condition imposed on the previous owner that still stands.

“Reinstating the verandahs would increase the authenticity of this important corner property and give the university more space over the footpath.”

Other suggestions the society made include:

• the Travellers’ Rest building in Marine Terrace needs verandahs and original openings, as it’s currently “an albino stripped-down facade;

• the Cleopatra Hotel’s two-storey verandah needs reinstating; and,

• the Hotel Fremantle on the corner of High and Cliff Streets is missing its tower and cupola.

• The society says NDU should be obliged to replace the verandahs on the His Majesty’s Hotel because it was a condition placed on the previous owner.

The uni’s plans, designed by local architectural firm CODA, were described as not being sympathetic to the West End’s heritage.

The society was facing its own controversy this week, with local blogger Roger Garwood revealing the committee had over-ruled Mr Dowson over his public support for Claudia Green in the coming council elections, and will instead back Kakula’s Sisters joint-owner Michael Finn in the city ward.

Mr Dowson and Ms Green had negotiated the merger of the society and the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association, with the new entity’s support for her campaign one of the conditions.

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