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Commercial Hotel


City of Fremantle

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


80 High St Fremantle

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1908, Constructed from 1994

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Classified by the National Trust Classified 28 Oct 1974

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Heritage Council
Statewide Hotel Survey Classified {Lscpe} 01 Nov 1997

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 1B

Level 1B

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of exceptional cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle and its conservation is required. It is recommended that this place be considered for entry in the Heritage Council of Western Australia's Register of Heritage Places.

Statement of Significance

The Commercial Hotel has social, historic and aesthetic significance.The place is historically significant as hotel representing the development of Fremantle’s Old Port City from the gold boom period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The place is significant because, when viewed from the street, it is a substantially intact example of a federation period commercial building which contributes to the very significant Old Port City of Fremantle. The building has landmark significance as a fine example of a hotel in the Federation Free Classical style.The place is of social significance as evidenced by its classification by the National Trust.

Physical Description

Three storey tuck point brick prominent building, with rendered banding on the columns and pilasters. The decorative parapet has the name 'Commercial Hotel' in raised stucco and central decorative pediment. The first and second floors have stucco architraves and recesses with timber and glass French timber doors and six paned transom windows, some have rounded metal balustrade balconies. The ground floor has an arcade effect veranda with stucco archways and banded columns; the awning (not original) onto the footpath has metal columns.


High Street was named by Surveyor General Roe - as was customary in English towns, the main street of the town was named High Street. Eastward from William Street the roadway was completed by convict labour after the Town Hall was built in 1887. High Street around the Town Hall closed to traffic in 1966. The High Street Mall was trialled in November 1973 and made a permanent pedestrian mall in 1975.
The current Commercial Hotel was built on the site of an earlier hotel (Albert Hotel, owned and kept by Capt John Thomas, on Fremantle Town Trust 1849-51, 1853-54, 1863-66, 1870, Chairman of Town Council 1873-75. There is a stained glass window in St John's in his memory.) It was known as the Exchange Hotel from c1882 to 1888, then Commercial from 1888, according to rates records. (There are also references to it being called the Southern Cross Hotel c1905 in Daily News 8/12/1976.)
The hotel was rebuilt in 1908 by architect John McNeece; the builders were Bradley and Rudderham. Costing £8, 000, it originally had three storey verandahs and balconies, and stables and coach houses at the rear.
Castlemaine Brewery Co purchased the hotel c1920; later bought out by the Swan Brewery from c1930. Repairs and renovations were carried out in 1941 (Allen & Nicholas Architects), 1963-64, 1985 (James Christou Architect) and 1994 by MRSA, Miller & Assoc. Building Designers. Grande Development carried out these recent changes.
It has been Sun Dancer Resort backpackers' accommodation, with a bar on the ground floor since c2002.




Name Type Year From Year To
Allen & Nicholas, 1941 Architect - -
John McNeece Architect - -

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn
Original Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


This data is provided by the City of Fremantle. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this data, the City of Fremantle makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the data being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. Under no circumstances should this data be used to carry out any work without first contacting the City of Fremantle for the appropriate confirmation and approval.