City of Perth rejects application to demolish West Perth building

The West Perth building as it looks now.
24-28 Coolgardie Street in 1983.
B. Makutz Steelworkers HQ when it opened in 1931.
The West Perth building as it looks now. 24-28 Coolgardie Street in 1983. B. Makutz Steelworkers HQ when it opened in 1931.

CITY of Perth looks likely to investigate the heritage value of a 1930s building in West Perth after an application to demolish it was rejected.

Councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday night to refuse the application from Burgess Design Group to knock down the two-storey brick and iron building at 24-28 Coolgardie Street.

The building occupies Lots 19 and 20 on the street.

The property owners, PFJ Investments (WA) Pty Ltd, had planned to sell the land as a single vacant lot.

Councillor Judy McEvoy said too often buildings in the city were demolished and the lot left vacant, noting an empty lot on Bennett Street that had been vacant since the building was demolished 19 years ago.

“I’ve looked at this building and I can’t agree that it should be pulled down,” she said.

Cr Jemma Green sought to amend the motion to include a heritage assessment of the site.

After advice from chief executive Martin Mileham, council resolved to include a note to that effect in the motion rejecting the demolition.

Cr Reece Harley said he had taken a close look at the building.

“It is structurally sound and could be redeveloped; similar to the Gordon Street Garage,” he said.

B.Makutz Steelworkers, who started business in 1895, started building its Coolgardie Street headquarters in 1930 and it was opened in 1931.

The company were locksmiths as well as steelworkers, and famous for their fireproof safes.

Around 1905 or early 1906, the State Government contracted Mr B. Makutz to provide between 60 and 70 safes for various Road Boards, and even more for other government departments.

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