Many people think heritage conservation is about protecting heritage buildings from any form of change or development.
The City’s previous Heritage Coordinator, Alan Kelsall, explains the often misunderstood concept of how sensitive redevelopment of heritage buildings is vital in conserving these buildings for the enjoyment of future generations.
Can heritage conservation and development work together?
Fremantle has evolved over a long period with successive generations responding to the place they inherited, adapting their surroundings to changing circumstances and supporting the constant regeneration needed for Fremantle to remain a thriving port city. These changes have affected not only the physical landscape of Fremantle but also its social and economic life.
The resulting diversity of Fremantle’s well-loved ‘port city’ character is of great cultural, social, economic and environmental importance. The City of Fremantle wants to retain and revitalise these attributes and is focused on conserving its heritage places so they are used, enjoyed and benefited from, with the intention that they become vital elements of its urban centre and the life of its community.
The aim, therefore, is not just to conserve these buildings but also to integrate them into urban regeneration schemes aspiring to a quality of design and execution that will reinforce and revitalise the character of Fremantle to create a successful urban centre that is positively different from other places in the metropolitan area.
Getting this balance right will secure the continued use and conservation of Fremantle’s heritage buildings, ensuring they are cherished well into the future.
The National Hotel, the Hougoumont hotel and the Bread in Common are examples of how buildings can be conserved and adapted for modern use.
More information on Fremantle’s unique heritage is available in this Heritage website section.