Conservation of a State Registered Place
Catherine McAuley Centre, Wembley
The limestone building, known as the Martin Kelly Centre, was built by the Sisters of Mercy as a school house for the Subiaco Boys Orphanage and was officially opened in January 1893. The building is part of the Catherine McAuley Centre in Wembley which now operates as MercyCare Wembley, a residential aged care facility and an early learning centre.
The building variously known as the Old Chapel or the Old School was in a state of disrepair, having been neglected and disused for decades. In 2012, as part of a wider development program at the Wembley site, MercyCare made the decision to undertake conservation works towards the adaptive reuse of the building.
The schoolhouse has been restored to its original charming appearance. Working with Bernard Seeber Pty Ltd, MercyCare has brought the past to life in preserved timber doors, ceilings and joinery, as well as the reconstruction of the beautiful blue/clear glass pattern in the windows. From here, overlooking MercyCare’s busiest service area, the Martin Kelly Centre will be able to continue to serve its original purpose in the community as a gathering place for education and discussion.
House, 24 Ord Street, Fremantle
The reconstruction and restoration of the western facade and verandah of 24 Ord Street, Fremantle has been a complex and detailed undertaking by the owners, Alex and Cameron Wilson.
It used appropriate and sound materials and constructional methodology to rebuild the verandah and restore the facade to as close as desirable to the original building whilst at the same time removing extraneous and deleterious materials and construction, thus ensuring the survival of the works for the next century.
The house and garden were open to the public in the recent Open Garden Scheme, highlighting the newly restored verandahs, facade and gardens.
Former Lyric Theatre, Bunbury
When the new owners took possession of the Former Lyric Theatre in July 2016 they immediately began conservation works to return the unique Federation Free Style facade to its former glory.
External conservation works included paint removal to the northern (Symmons Street) facade and the reinstatement of the original tuck-pointing. After the repairs and tuck-pointing was completed, the facade was painted in a colour scheme sympathetic to the original Federation Free Style and Inter-War Art Deco Period Style of the former theatre. The damaged and loose sections of jarrah flooring at the western end of the building were restored. Adaptation works included functional requirements for amenities and access to the back of the place.
This project has reinvigorated the streetscape in the centre of Bunbury and added value to modern day Bunbury.
Fremantle Town Hall
The $3.1 million restoration of Fremantle’s beloved 130-year-old Town Hall was the largest conservation project ever undertaken by the City of Fremantle.
Completed in May this year, the project protected the town hall for the enjoyment of this and future generations and also created a window into the past by reinstating its original appearance by removing paint from the stucco walls, reconstructing the slate roofs and refurbishing the historic clock.
These works were carried out by a team of specialist consultants and skilled contractors with a rare knowledge in the use of traditional building techniques, materials and conservation practice.
Gwalia Headframe (part of Gwalia Museum Group)
The conservation of the Gwalia Headframe, constructed in 1898, was an innovative and one-of-a-kind project in Australia. The structure showed clear evidence of deterioration of its fabric, and without the necessary conservation work would have resulted in serious structural failure.
The 22-metre high timber incline Headframe, is the only large timber headframe of its kind surviving in Australia. It is an iconic landmark within Gwalia and the Western Australian Goldfields. Its conservation brought together a range of skills and expertise to preserve a non-typical heritage structure demonstrating important industrial processes that contributed to the early economic successes of WA.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton
The St Francis Xavier Cathedral Precinct Project has restored and conserved this iconic heritage-listed place that overlooks the Western Australian coastal city of Geraldton.
Designed by internationally renowned priest-architect John Hawes and completed in 1938 at a time of great hardship in Australia, the Cathedral was not finished to original specifications. This restoration sees the Cathedral completed to Hawes’ original design.
The project included enhancement of the Cathedral, a new Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre, and community garden. The $9 million development was funded by the Diocese of Geraldton and the Mid-West community - with the assistance of the Federal and State Governments.