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Sheds on Victoria Quay (South Wharf)

A shed

Photo courtesy of Roel Loopers.

A Shed (1925-6) was until 2020 used as an annexe of the Maritime Museum, for storage and offices. Fremantle Ports invited expressions of interest from other users October 2019. In 2020 it is let to Gage Roads Brewing Company for a brewery, tavern, etc.

B Shed (1925-6) at its western end now houses the offices of the sail training tall ship, the STS Leeuwin II. At its eastern end is the booking office and coffeeshop of Oceanic Cruises, who run ferries to Rottnest, inter alia. During the Americas Cup defence, the ABC had an OB van here to coordinate national radio coverage. Then the WA Maritime Museum exhibited boats here until the new building was available in 2002. (Many of those old boats are currently stored in A Shed.) Later again, Peter Briggs had a Motor Museum here 2003-8. The 2010 refurbishment of the building received a State Heritage Award in 2011.

C Shed (1903-4) is the oldest shed on the wharf.

D Shed (1928-9) was erected at the same time as E Shed.

This shed was erected in 1928-29, at the same time as E Shed. These two sheds replaced three earlier sheds, E, D and F. The simple form of construction of this and other sheds is complemented by a high standard of detailing for wharf architecture. Placed along the front of the quay the sheds have some aesthetic value and are visually significant in defining the interface between the river and the city. This is the oldest existing goods shed on the quay, having been built in 1903-04. It was extended in a westerly direction in 1912-13 to accommodate the largest interstate liners. The shed was widened in 1926-27, and its western end was reduced in length in 1985. As it is the only original shed (with modifications) to survive, it is a significant building. In 2005 it housed the office of Rottnest Express Ferries. There were plans to refurbish this building as part of the new commercial precinct.

E Shed (1928-9) was removed from the wharf and laboriously rebuilt on the other side of the roadway (which has the unnecessarily grandiose name Peter Hughes Drive). Now E Shed Markets, it is a tourist trap selling trashy junk. At the western end was an Indonesian restaurant, incongruously called the Victoria Cafe, open independently of the E Shed Markets, which are only open on weekends. There are other eateries in the shed.

F and G Sheds were replaced by the Passenger Terminal (1960-62), a bit more than mere sheds - which had in turn replaced earlier buildings). As it's now inside a seriously fenced area, it's only open and available when a cruise ship is berthed there. The extensive wharf area around it is used only for the temporary parking of imported cars. This is obviously an extremely unsatisfactory solution to the problem of getting motor vehicles off ships, and aorta do something about it.

J Shed is a 1912 historic Fremantle building originally built on Victoria Quay as a cargo shed. The building was removed 1968-69 and rebuilt under the cliff on the western side of Arthur Head. It has had a variation of purposes since its move, including being a fibreglass workshop until 1988. In 1992 the building was repurposed again - after a restoration completed by the City of Fremantle - to be used as the independent semi-industrial art studios you see today. It is a collection of artists studios, notably Jenny Dawson Ceramic Arts Studio, Greg James Sculpture Studio Gallery, Peter Zuvela Photography. The southern section was temporarily and unfortunately let to Sunset Events, who occasionally took over the whole area, made a lot of noise, left a mess, and generally lowered the tone.

Hutchison writes (2006: 199) that five of the sheds were built by Richard Rennie.

References and Links

Hutchison, David 1999, 'Shedding light on sheds in transit'Fremantle Studies, 1: 66-76.

Hutchison, David 2006, Fremantle Walks.

Gage Roads Brewing Company website.

Garry Gillard | New: 15 June, 2016 | Now: 8 April, 2024