THE Fremantle bells have rung out over the Port City for the first time in more than a year to celebrate completion of the $3.1 million town hall restoration project.
Beginning in May 2016, skilled stonemasons, plasterers and slate roofers have been working hard at restoring the William Street venue’s exterior to what it had been when it opened in 1887.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was the largest conservation project the City had undertaken and was the first stage in the transformation of Kings Square.
“Throughout the restoration we were very careful to respect the original intention for the town hall to look like a high-quality, finely detailed stone building,” he said.
“This involved removing the external paint, which was slowly suffocating the town hall since the 1960s, to reveal its unique stucco finish, with natural variations in colour and texture that form part of this.”
Dr Pettitt said the hall was now able to function as it was intended to, “with the walls being able to breathe again for the first time in decades to absorb and then expel moisture and salt”.
“It may look a bit different to what we’re used to seeing in modern times, but up until 1965 this is what people would have known the town hall as looking like,” he said.
“By doing this vital work we’ve ensured the town hall will be around for the next 130 years and beyond.”
Prior to the latest project, it had been close to 30 years since any significant money was spent on the hall.
The venue is used for a host of occasions, including wedding receptions, gala dinners and corporate functions.