Fremantle Arts Centre Conservation Management Plan

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We’re seeking your stories, connection and curiosity about the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings, to help guide the future conservation and care of this important place.


Designed by Richard Roach Jewell, the centre was constructed by convict labour as the colony’s Lunatic Asylum in 1861. Additions to the building designed by George Temple Poole were constructed in the 1880s and 1890s. The site has a fascinating history as:

  • Fremantle Lunatic Asylum (1861-1908)
  • Women’s Home + Maternity Training School (1909-1942)
  • US Naval Submarine Depot (1942-1945)
  • Fremantle Technical School (1946-1968)
  • Threat of demolition, Restoration (1958-1970)
  • Maritime Museum (1970-mid 1980s)
  • Fremantle History Museum (1970-2009)
  • Fremantle Arts Centre (1973-today)

The Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) buildings have considerable cultural heritage significance and the site was included on the State Register of Heritage Places in 1993. The City of Fremantle is currently preparing a conservation management plan (CMP) for the FAC. A CMP helps to understand the place and its heritage values and provides policies to enable its significance to be retained in its future use, interpretation and development.


How can I contribute?

We want to build on the rich stories and existing research already shared about the Fremantle Arts Centre.

If you have a connection to, or interest in, the Fremantle Arts Centre and its former uses, we invite you to contribute. Your input is an important part of ensuring the heritage values and social significance are appropriately recognised, assessed and conserved.

Your stories or historical photographs (particularly incidental images) may supplement the City's History Collection or could help identify particular aspects of the building fabric which would assist with management and interpretation. Information on your curiosity will help build a picture of the social significance and what our community and visitors would like to know more about.

You can:

  • Share your stories or upload information online (below), or
  • Complete a photographic donation form (click here or find in the document library) and drop in to the Fremantle Library 70 Parry Street Fremantle (Fremantle Oval) with your material.


Submit your stories or material online (below) or at Fremantle Library before Sunday 22 March 2020.



We’re seeking your stories, connection and curiosity about the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings, to help guide the future conservation and care of this important place.


Designed by Richard Roach Jewell, the centre was constructed by convict labour as the colony’s Lunatic Asylum in 1861. Additions to the building designed by George Temple Poole were constructed in the 1880s and 1890s. The site has a fascinating history as:

  • Fremantle Lunatic Asylum (1861-1908)
  • Women’s Home + Maternity Training School (1909-1942)
  • US Naval Submarine Depot (1942-1945)
  • Fremantle Technical School (1946-1968)
  • Threat of demolition, Restoration (1958-1970)
  • Maritime Museum (1970-mid 1980s)
  • Fremantle History Museum (1970-2009)
  • Fremantle Arts Centre (1973-today)

The Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) buildings have considerable cultural heritage significance and the site was included on the State Register of Heritage Places in 1993. The City of Fremantle is currently preparing a conservation management plan (CMP) for the FAC. A CMP helps to understand the place and its heritage values and provides policies to enable its significance to be retained in its future use, interpretation and development.


How can I contribute?

We want to build on the rich stories and existing research already shared about the Fremantle Arts Centre.

If you have a connection to, or interest in, the Fremantle Arts Centre and its former uses, we invite you to contribute. Your input is an important part of ensuring the heritage values and social significance are appropriately recognised, assessed and conserved.

Your stories or historical photographs (particularly incidental images) may supplement the City's History Collection or could help identify particular aspects of the building fabric which would assist with management and interpretation. Information on your curiosity will help build a picture of the social significance and what our community and visitors would like to know more about.

You can:

  • Share your stories or upload information online (below), or
  • Complete a photographic donation form (click here or find in the document library) and drop in to the Fremantle Library 70 Parry Street Fremantle (Fremantle Oval) with your material.


Submit your stories or material online (below) or at Fremantle Library before Sunday 22 March 2020.


Share your thoughts

Today Fremantle Arts Centre is one of the leading arts organisations in Australia, however the gothic building (built in the 1860s) also has a long and fascinating history.


You can share your stories, connection or something you are curious to know more about the building and surrounds. 

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I love the Fremantle Arts Centre and visit it frequently for art, music, books, the cafe & community. It's a vital contributor to the arts in WA & should be preserved as is. It's an excellent facility well managed, exciting to attend. I intend to continue to support FAC by buying books from the book shop.

Sandii Rogers 4 months ago