Cowan House back on State Heritage Register after 16 year absence

EDITH Cowan’s long-time residence in West Perth has been included on the State Heritage Register, 16 years after it was mysteriously removed.

The property, which is owned by members of the Cardaci family that own Centurion Transport and Freight Company, was set to be demolished to make room for a seven-storey hotel.

The 130-year-old building at 31 Malcolm Street was built by Edith Cowan and her husband James.

The Cowans lived there in three periods between 1883 and 1919.

The property was included in the State Register of Heritage Places on an interim basis in 1999 but removed in June 2000 when, according to current Heritage Minister Albert Jacob, “the then Minister for Heritage decided the registration should not be made permanent”.

The reasons for the decision by Court Government minister Graham Kierath were not recorded.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Steve Chapman had urged Mr Jacob and the Heritage Council to save the building, as was the case for Edith Cowan’s cottage at 71 Malcolm Street, which was relocated to the university’s Joondalup campus in 1996.

Opposition heritage spokesman David Templeman previously said the building should be preserved, or at least retained within the proposed $10 million hotel development.

The Cowans’ second daughter was born in the West Perth home and it was the scene of much of Mrs Cowan’s work for returned soldiers that subsequently saw her appointed to the Order of the British Empire.