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Worker's Cottage, Perth (1897-98, 1940)

The sensitive development and conservation of this simple worker’s cottage has proven to be an inspiration for other properties in the historic Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct in Perth.

The Brookman and Moir Street Precinct is an almost complete residential estate built for working class families in the late 1890s.

Number 17 Brookman Street has been owned by one family for more than 90 years but was in need of major conservation work.

The dwelling was in a poor and dilapidated state and threatened by its location over a former swamp, the ravages of time with a non-functioning bathroom and kitchen.

The owner and her family had a vision to restore the home and create a passive solar addition to make the dwelling a contemporary 21st century home.

The work included some render removal and re-tucking the entire façade using traditional materials, repairing internal walls, rewiring, replacing floors and repairing the sub-floor structure, and replacing the roof, gutters and downpipes, all in accordance with documentary evidence and surviving evidence from other houses in the precinct. The owner received assistance from the Heritage Grants Program for new roof cladding and was guided by a conservation plan.

The passive solar addition is sympathetic to the working class origins of the original home both in style and mass.

From the outset, the owner and her family wanted to set an example of correct restoration work for other residences in the precinct.

The heritage consultant used original iron lace borrowed from neighbouring houses to create moulds to reproduce the lace work. Extra pieces were cast to be used as moulds in further restoration work in the Precinct, with the City of Vincent agreeing to purchase and store the material.

This attention to detail also inspired the contractors working on other properties within the precinct to take templates and discuss finishes with their workmen.

The home was highly commended in the 2012 Western Australian Heritage Awards with the judges stating the restoration set an exemplary approach for other residences in the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct.

Read more about the Worker’s Cottage by downloading the Register Entry and Assessment Documentation.
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