IT took a year for Althea McTaggart (94) to decide how to restore the 1896-built former Claremont police station on Grant Street when she bought the property for her home 24 years ago.
‘The ceiling was fascinating, as if it had been chopped off so that there was no connection with the rest of the building,’ Ms McTaggart said.
Last Wednesday, the State Government announced the station, its cells and stables were heritage listed, after they had been adapted for two homes.
Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said the George Temple-Poole-designed station was built to combat crime following a population explosion in Perth after gold was discovered in WA, with many of the incidents blamed on the arrival of eastern states criminals.
‘As Cottesloe and Claremont became prestigious residential suburbs and the beach and river became increasingly popular, demand grew for a stronger police presence in the district and Claremont police station was built in 1896,’ Mr Jacob said.
Some of the buildings’ architecture still reflect their former crime fighting roles, with bars on some windows and the original doors leading to the two cells which, with the former stable, are now bedrooms.
The police station and its outbuildings were closed in the 1950s to be sold to private owners. A replacement station at the Leura Street-Stirling Highway intersection was used by police until it closed when western suburbs detectives left in September and would be sold using ‘normal’ Government property disposal processes.
A WA Police spokeswoman said it would be listed with the recently established Department of Lands’ Land Asset Management Unit in ‘the near future’, and the unit would be advised of the Town of Claremont’s recent interest in the site.