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City of Fremantle

Place Number

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2 John St North Fremantle

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1901

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

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

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 3

Level 3

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of some cultural heritage significance for its contribution to the heritage of Fremantle in terms of its individual or collective aesthetic, historic, social or scientific significance, and /or its contribution to the streetscape, local area and Fremantle. Its contribution to the urban context should be maintained and enhanced.

Parent Place or Precinct

22385 North Fremantle Precinct

Statement of Significance

House, 2 John Street, comprising a modified double storey limestone, brick, timber and iron residence constructed c1900 has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:

the place is of aesthetic value as a late Federation Queen Anne with elements of the Victorian Rustic Gothic style of architecture residence that contributes to the quality of its setting along John Street and the surrounding area;

the place has some historic value as a very early twentieth century residence designed by Architect Norman Hitchcock and that demonstrates the settlement and development of the North Fremantle area,

the place social significance as it contributes to the community’s sense of place, and;

is representative of one the few residences designed by the Norman Hitchcock as an architect who is known for his distinctive array of decorative details within the Fremantle area.

The second storey and rear additions, front fence and shed are of little significance.

Physical Description

John Street extends from the Swan River from the north easterly direction through to Stirling Highway in a south westerly direction.
2 John Street is located on the northwestern corner of John and Corkhill Streets. The streetscape comprises of an intact group of heritage houses constructed in the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century and some recent development including Pier 21 which is sited across from the residence. Gilbert Fraser Oval is located nearby.
House, 2 John Street is a double storey stone and iron heavily modified house originally designed as an example of the Federation Queen Anne style of architecture. Some details are similar to those of the Victorian Rustic Gothic style of architecture. The front elevation is asymmetrical. Walls are limestone with brick quoins and reveals and timber framed and weatherboard clad second storey addition with dormer windows which is not original. Roof is substantially altered complex hipped and gabled corrugated iron. The two brick and rendered corbelled chimneys are extant.
The John Street elevation has an original gable with elaborate timber decoration in the form of icicle barge board detailing over the faceted bay of the projecting room and stucco eaves frieze. The eaves frieze has garlanded flowers.
The verandah is under separate corrugated iron roof and returns on the eastern side of the house. It is supported by chamfered square timber posts. Wrought iron filigree detailing to the verandahs has been lost, (refer photo evident possibly dated from the 1980s) but the decorative pressed cement frieze below the eaves and the carved timber valance to the front gable remain.
There is a high limestone block fence to the front boundary fronting the garden and a carport addition to the side on the John St elevation. The Corkhill St elevation has an addition with skillion roof that abuts the rear boundary of the lot, and is adjacent to two additional residential developments.


John Street was the main road surveyed through the parcel of land granted to Lt. Con. John Bruce in 1857. The land remained undivided and undeveloped until after John Bruce’s death, when his widow arranged for it to be auctioned as residential lots. A land sale was held in October 1890 to dispose of the estate of John Bruce. A large attendance resulted in all 88 lots being sold, for sums ranging from £21 to £102, at an average price of £33/16/0, well above the anticipated price. Towards the end of 1891, the new owners approached the Fremantle Council requesting that scrub be cleared so that they could access their blocks, and it is likely that this is when John Street, which had been marked on survey diagrams from at least 1833, was actually created. The area at this time was known as ‘Brucetown’. Pensioner Road, which ran from Stirling Highway (then Bruce Street) to the ocean and beach along the route of current Tydeman Road between Stirling Highway and the railway, and continuing beyond this point at the same angle, was renamed John Street in the late 1890s, being the continuation of the current John Street. This name remained until towards the end of the twentieth century, when roads were realigned to accommodate the expansion of Fremantle Port, and the current alignment of Tydeman Road was constructed.

The present John Street, from Stirling Highway to the Swan River, developed as a predominantly residential area, with the exception of the Gresham Hotel (to 1934) and the North Fremantle Oval (later Gilbert Fraser Reserve). At the western end of the street a number of prominent homes were built, while the eastern end was characterised by workers cottages. Long residential blocks on the south side of the street, east of the oval, had a number of cottages built along their rear boundary, facing the water. These were reported to have flooded frequently. The street overall fell into disrepair in the decades following World War Two, with many of the larger residences used as boarding houses and the cottages rented out. Many German and Polish migrants took up residence in this period. From the 1980s, gentrification of the area began, with older places either being restored or demolished to construct higher density housing. In the 1990s, most of the older buildings at the eastern end of the street were demolished to allow for new waterside developments, most notably Pier 21.

In January 1901 a portion of Town Lot 25 and being Lot 50 was transferred from Mary Lefroy to Nora Maria Price. 2 John Street, sited on the corner with Corkhill Street was constructed c.1901 for Nora (sometimes shown as Norah) and Percival (known as Percy) Price. It is believed to have been designed by German Architect Norman Hitchcock, who also designed Corkhill House, 12 John Street in this period. Norman Hitchcock came to Western Australia in the early 1900s from Victoria due to the economic downfall in Victoria and the gold boom in Western Australia. Norman Hitchcock died in 1918.

Nora Maria Hitchcock married Percival Hassan Albert Price in 1896 in Fremantle. In 1897 they had a daughter Eva Josephine and in 1899 a son Percival Jack.

The Prices owned and occupied the place until Nora’s death in 1934. 2 John Street was then owned and occupied by Gilbert and Lavina McCarthy until the 1980s. A long-time resident of the area believed that the McCarthy’s were also part of the Price family. They had three children. Lavina, born in 1896, lived until the age of 103.

In 1985, the house was renovated and the lot subdivided to build two residences to the rear, accessed from Corkhill Street. In 1993, the owner was given approval for the addition of a second storey to the original single-storey residence. The second storey included two bedrooms and a bathroom, raising the roofline by 2 metres, but retaining the original pitch.

This place was included in the 'North Fremantle Heritage Study' (1994) as a place contributing to the development and heritage of North Fremantle. It was also included in the list of heritage places in the City of Fremantle identified by the Fremantle Society (1979/80) - RED -significant for contributing to the unique character of Fremantle.


Low to Moderate degree of integrity (original intent unclear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability restored, some loss of fabric and previous substantial alterations).
Low to Moderate degree of authenticity with basic original fabric remaining.Some loss of fabric.
(These statements based on street survey only).


Condition assessed as good (assessed from streetscape survey only).


Name Type Year From Year To
Norman Hitchcock Architect - -

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence

Architectural Styles

Victorian Rustic Gothic
Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Wall STONE Limestone

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision

Creation Date

20 Jul 2011

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

22 Mar 2019


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.