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General/main store

Jack Kent, 1991:
Plans for the construction of a general or main store dated 25 November are held by the Fremantle Port Authority North Quay development office. Further plans for proposed roof trusses were drawn in December, 1955 and as the building appears on an aerial photograph dated 8 January, 1957 it can be deduced that the building was constructed in 1956. Mr Stan Limpus (leading hand Fremantle Port Authority) recalled that the building on the site previous to the store was used to house sheep. Archival research shows no other building being on this site besides the Elder Smith Steel Works. It is therefore probable that the Steelworks building was used for this purpose following the closure of the works and prior to the general main store being constructed in 1956.
Mr Stan Limpus also recalled that the eastern and western ends of the building were used during the Second World War before becoming the Electrical Shop in 1954 and Carpenters Shop in 1953.
The building consists of ten narrow structural bays constructed in timber. The external walls are clad in horizontal corrugated pressed metal, the three western most bays being recently re-clad in custom orb. The saw-tooth timber roof structure is covered in corrugated asbestos sheeting, the older western and eastern bays have been reroofed in custom orb. The original timber joinery is largely intact.
The building form and construction is industrial in character, consistent with many other buildings on the wharf, and exhibits aesthetic value in its own right. This value is greatly increased when thee building is assessed as part of a group of wharf buildings along Slip Street (and to a lesser extent, Fleet Street).
The building fabric is principally intact and as such is physical evidence of particular wharf activities. The evidence indicates that it is probable that the eastern and western ends of the building were constructed prior to, or during World War Two and used for defence related activities.
Historically, the building is part of a group of buildings that remain as physical evidence of the ongoing change in port operations when modernisation of the port progressed from relying on predominantly manual labour to the increase in machinery, its maintenance and repair.

References and Links

Hutchison, David, Jack Kent, Agnieshka Kiera, Russell Kingdom, Larraine Stevens, Tanya Suba, 1991, Victoria Quay and its Architecture its History and Assessment of Cultural Significance, City of Fremantle; Part II: Jack Kent: 'Architectural evaluation of existing buldings and assessment of their cultural significance', 54 pp.

Garry Gillard | New: 19 November, 2022 | Now: 27 April, 2024