Perth Historic Buildings Walk, Perth

Perth Historic Buildings Walk (Self Guided), Perth

From the gorgeous Victorian Gothic façade of the Perth Town Hall to the WWI memorial of ANZAC Cottage and the iconic Old Mill, Perth has architecture to excite history buffs and lovers of design. ****PH***
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Perth Historic Buildings Walk Map

Guide Name: Perth Historic Buildings Walk
Guide Location: Australia » Perth (See other walking tours in Perth)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: irenebo
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. Mary's Cathedral
  • St John's Pro-Cathedral
  • Old Perth Fire Station
  • St. Andrew's Uniting Church
  • Government House and Gardens
  • Old Court House. Francis Burt Law Museum
  • St. George's Cathedral
  • Perth Town Hall
  • Trinity Uniting Church
  • Palace Hotel
  • Wesley Uniting Church
  • Barracks Arch
St. Mary's Cathedral

1) St. Mary's Cathedral (must see)

St Mary's Cathedral, or Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, and seat of its Archbishop, currently Barry James Hickey. The cathedral is at the centre of Victoria Square, on the peak of a hill in East Perth, Western Australia.

The cathedral as it now stands was constructed in three main phases, with the first phase completed in 1865. Plans were drawn up for the replacement of the cathedral in the 1920s with a larger Perpendicular Gothic edifice. However, construction was interrupted by the onset of the Great Depression, leaving a new transept and sanctuary, with the aisle of the original cathedral as its nave. After 70 years incomplete, and portions of the cathedral requiring extensive repair work, funds were eventually raised in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the completion of the expansion. A new curved design for the expansion was created, and featured a second spire and underground parish centre. The cathedral closed for construction in 2006, and reopened in December 2009.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
St John's Pro-Cathedral

2) St John's Pro-Cathedral

St John's Pro-Cathedral is the earliest Roman Catholic church building in Western Australia.

The pro-cathedral of St John the Evangelist is an important building in the history of the Catholic Church in Western Australia. It was the first Catholic Church and would become the first Cathedral. It was the centre of Catholic life for the first twenty years of the Catholic Church in the Swan River Colony until the first St Mary’s Cathedral was completed in 1865.

The Cathedral is constructed of brick that has been covered with lime render and painted ochre to resemble the colour of the original building. The gable roof is covered with shingles. The north and south facades are punctuated by arched windows. Buttresses have been placed at regular intervals down the length of these facades. The portico, which was removed in 1881, has been reconstructed at the western end of the building.

The western gable end is punctuated by four arched windows, a pair above the portico and a single window either side of the portico. A lean-to extension is located at the eastern end of the southern facade. Entry to this section is through an arched door on the north facade. The church windows have clear glass set in wooden mullions. Those in the lean-to section are square, four paned windows.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Old Perth Fire Station

3) Old Perth Fire Station

Old Perth Fire Station (Fire Brigade No. 1 Station) was the first purpose-built fire station in Western Australia. It was opened in 1901 and continued in operation until 1979.

The Fire Station was designed by Michael Cavanagh with Romanesque Revival stylistic influences and built around 1900. It is a two-storey rusticated limestone and tile roofed corner building, and has a diverse facade with arches, turrets and recessed colonnades.

In 1979, the Perth Fire Brigade vacated the building, which was subsequently restored between 1983 and 1985. The external work involved re-roofing with terracotta tiles to match existing, reconstruction of a limestone arch that had been replaced with a concrete lintel to suit larger and higher engines, and replacement of columns, mouldings and original doors which had been removed. Internal work included new timber stairs, toilets and a theatrette. New ceiling cornices and ceiling roses were installed to match the period and the existing.

The building was reopened in 1985 as the Fire Safety Education Centre and Museum. The Museum showcases all kinds of firefighting equipment that has been in use in for the past 150 plus years. The collection is complemented by active corps of firefighters. It is situated in the fire station which was established in 1901 and, in its time, was one of the most advanced in the country.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
St. Andrew's Uniting Church

4) St. Andrew's Uniting Church

The founding of St. Andrew's Uniting Church dates back to 1907. The tower with a metal spire, brickwork, and sandstone detailing are the main features of its architecture. The historical importance of this church is that it was the main place of worship for Presbyterians in the city.
Government House and Gardens

5) Government House and Gardens

Government House is the official residence of the Governor of Western Australia, situated in the central business district of Perth, the state capital. Government House is located on St Georges Terrace (Perth's main thoroughfare), sitting on the same block as Council House and the Supreme Court buildings. The buildings and gardens of Government House are of exceptional heritage significance and they are regularly opened for public viewing.

Government House is a unique example of a Victorian Gentleman's residence' set in landscaped gardens with mature plantings and a number of commemorative trees, known today as Stirling Gardens and Supreme Court Gardens.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Old Court House. Francis Burt Law Museum

6) Old Court House. Francis Burt Law Museum

The Old Court House is the first court building constructed in Perth, Western Australia. It is located between Stirling Gardens and Supreme Court Gardens, off Barrack Street, adjacent to the Supreme Court building. It is a single-storey cream rendered building, with a wooden shingle roof.

Completed in 1836, it is the city's oldest surviving public building and is one of two remaining examples of the work of Henry Reveley, the colonial civil engineer. It is one of the few remaining buildings designed in the classical Greek revival style of the 19th century in Perth.

It is a simple looking building of Georgian style architecture. It is of stone rubble construction with a stucco finish. It is a small simple building with a hipped roof, which was originally clad with slate. The entry portico, which was added later, is supported by doric pillars. The area around the north and west of the building is paved in sandstone coloured interlocking concrete paving bricks.

The Old Court House was entered into the Register of the National Estate by the Australian Heritage Commission in October 1980 and classified by the National Trust of Australia (WA) in February 1978. On 14 February 2003 it was placed on the permanent state heritage register.

Francis Burt Law Museum is situated inside the Old Court House. The items showcased here are related to the history and development of law in Western Australia. Some of them dated from 1616. The museum also functions as an educational and research facility.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Friday 10 am - 2:30 pm.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
St. George's Cathedral

7) St. George's Cathedral

St George's Cathedral is located in St Georges Terrace in the centre of the city. Built in 1888, the cathedral replaced an earlier building immediately to the north-east of the present one. The cathedral is described as Gothic Revival and is made from local handmade clay bricks from Queen's Gardens and Victorian blue stone pillars on footings of Fremantle limestone. It was designed by Sydney architect Edmund Blacket. The site is near the "Rush Church" - the first church built in Perth, by Frederick Irwin, in December 1829, a few months after the city was founded. Its castellated bell tower was damaged in the 1968 Meckering earthquake.

In 2005-2008 the cathedral was extensively restored with the tile roof replaced by slates as originally built. Earthquake protection was added to two walls to provide bracing and much other work was undertaken. Plans are currently underway to restore and develop other buildings in the complex, including the Burt Hall and the 1859 deanery building, which adjoins the cathedral, on the corner of Pier Street. St George's Cathedral has become noted for its innovative and controversial theological teaching, popular preaching, commitment to inter-faith worship and music. Its Cathedral Education Centre is unique to Australia.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Perth Town Hall

8) Perth Town Hall

The Perth Town Hall is the only town hall built by convicts in Australia. Designed by Richard Roach Jewell and James Manning in the Victorian Free Gothic style, the hall was built by convicts and free men between 1867 and 1870. Its decorations contain a number of convict motifs, including windows in the shape of the broad arrow, and decorations in the shape of a hangman's rope.

The foundation stone for Perth Town Hall was laid on 24 May 1867 by Governor Hampton in a ceremony involving a lot of pomp and parade. However, there were torrential downpours. The ceremony went on anyway with an official procession from Government House and a mock battle performed by the Volunteer Regiments, Enrolled Forces of Pensioners, and the WA Country Regiment.

In the 1929 centenary of Western Australia one of the events in the city of Perth was the placing of a commemorative plaque in the northwest corner of the building by the Governor Sir William Campion.

For many decades in the 20th century, shops were built into the sides of the ground floor, and the public lavatories accessible from Barrack Street were the only ones available for some distance. The shops included a pharmacy, bank, lunch bar and other shops. All these businesses and the attendant structures were removed prior to the renovation of the hall.

At the time of its centenary in 1970, the ground floor was still full of commercial businesses.

The Town Hall was restored in the late 1990s at the base in an award-winning restoration to repair the interior of the hall and the gothic arches at its base, which were "modernised" in the middle of the 20th century.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Trinity Uniting Church

9) Trinity Uniting Church

Trinity Church is one of the oldest church buildings in the City of Perth, and one of the few remaining 19th-century colonial buildings in the city.

The Trinity Church congregation was established by Henry Trigg, a practising Congregationalist, who arrived in the Swan River Colony in 1829. Trigg initially attended the first Anglican Church, where he was a choirmaster. He later joined the Wesleyans, but from 1843 he held prayer meetings in the Congregational tradition in his own home.

In 1863, the congregation decided to build a chapel in St Georges Terrace as the premises in William Street were too small. Land was purchased for £350. The architect of the new church was Richard Roach Jewell. Governor John Hampton laid the cornerstone on 10 May 1864. The church was constructed by Thomas Smith and William Buggins, in 1865.

On 4 August 1892, the proposal was put that a new church be constructed, in front of the existing one, at a proposed cost of £5,100, with the erection of an adjoining suite of offices to fund the building of the church. This was accepted and Trinity Church was dedicated in December 1893 and opened in 1894. The Church also commissioned a two-storey office building, Trinity House, adjacent to the new church building and facing St Georges Terrace.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Palace Hotel

10) Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel is a landmark three-storey heritage listed building located in the city's central business district. Originally built in 1897 as a hotel during the gold rush period of Western Australia's history, it was converted to banking chambers and offices in the 1980s and now accommodates the Perth headquarters of Woods Bagot, Adapptor and Hatchd. The building is located on the most prominent intersection in the financial district of the city, at the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street.

When the hotel opened for business on 18 March 1897 it was, although slightly smaller than some of its contemporary buildings in other capital cities in Australasia, described as "... one of the most beautiful and elegant hotels in Australasia".

The building is described as being of a "Federation Free Classical" architectural style. It is three storeys high and of brick and iron construction. It was designed by architects Porter and Thomas and built by prominent mining entrepreneur and real-estate investor John De Baun at a cost of £64,000.

The building was entered into the register of the National Trust of Australia in June 1973 and elevated to a permanent entry in 1980 "as a first-class example of the quality of building at the time of the gold rush".

In the period leading up to and during the 1980s redevelopment, lobbying from The Palace Guards, the National Trust of Western Australia and the public at large pushed for the retention of some elements of the original building.

Due to its ornate and grand style, its prominent position within the city, and being the only building of its type and scale in St Georges Terrace, the hotel has been an important landmark in Perth for all of its life. In its early years, the hotel afforded commercial travellers a high level of opulence and comfort while visiting the city and offered a tangible reminder of the wealth and prosperity of the state during the gold-boom period.

Prior to the construction of the Perth Town Hall in 1870, the site (which then housed the Freemasons' Hotel) was the pre-eminent social and political focus of the town—important decisions such as the establishment of a local police force in 1851 were made there. At the time of its transformation into banking chambers in the 1980s, considerable amounts of nostalgia and acclamation of its place in Perth were reflected in the local media.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Wesley Uniting Church

11) Wesley Uniting Church

Wesley Church is one of the oldest church buildings and one of few remaining 19th-century colonial buildings in the city. Wesley Church is built of load-bearing brick laid in Flemish bond in the Victorian academic gothic style and features a landmark spire, steeply pitched roofs, parapeted gables, label (hood) moulds and wall buttressing.

The church has a strong verticality of form emphasised by tall lancet windows with plate tracery to the east facade. Angle buttresses divide the nave wall into five bays and the major windows have stucco label moulds above them. The bricks of the building, fired at uncertain temperatures in wood-burning kilns, show a range of mellow tones and, laid in Flemish bond, create a chequerboard effect on the walls, which provides a decorative element to the walls of the building. The spire is 35 metres high with a weathercock on top; it is surrounded by four smaller spires at its base which are capped by metal finials. The north-east tower replicates these smaller spires above the gable. The roof structure is of hand-sawn timber and the roof covering was originally shingles, but at some point the Church was re-roofed in clay tiles.

Wesley Church was designed by Richard Roach Jewell, an architect, circuit steward, clerk of colonial works and church member. The foundation stone was laid on 25 October 1867 by Governor John Stephen Hamptona and the church was opened on Sunday 10 April 1870.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Barracks Arch

12) Barracks Arch

The Barracks' Arch is located on the corner of Malcolm and Elder Streets, at the western end of St Georges Terrace. Designed by Richard Roach Jewell, the Barracks were originally built in 1866 to house the retired Enrolled Pensioner Force. Architect Jewell designed the three-storey building in Tudor style that resembled a medieval castle. The building was brick, rather than more expensive stone, and horizontal lines emphasised by using lines of paler colour bricks underneath the windows. The roof was made of timber shingles. The building was finished in 1866, and was later extended to house an additional 21 families.

A fire in 1887 destroyed the timber flooring of the east wing and the second floor of the central section. Water was pumped by hand pumps from the Swan River and brought by buckets through a chain of volunteers. The burnt sections were later restored.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Perth, Australia

Create Your Own Walk in Perth

Create Your Own Walk in Perth

Creating your own self-guided walk in Perth is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Perth Historical Buildings Walk

Perth Historical Buildings Walk

From the gorgeous Victorian Gothic façade of the Perth Town Hall to the WWI memorial of ANZAC Cottage and the iconic Old Mill, Perth has architecture to excite history buffs and lovers of design. ****PH***

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Perth Introduction Walking Tour

Perth Introduction Walking Tour

Perth is the capital of, and the main city in, Western Australia. The best way to get to know it better is by learning more about the city's landmarks, which make it special and distinguish if from other cities. Take this tour to discover the most popular landmarks in Perth:

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles