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Pearse's Buildings


City of Fremantle

Place Number

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72-78 High St Fremantle

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Commercial Bank (fmr)

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1900

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
Statewide Bank Survey Completed 01 Nov 1997

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 28 Oct 1974

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

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 place is of historic significance as an example of a commercial building in the Old Port City of Fremantle dating from the gold boom period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The place is a fine example of a Federation Free Classical style building, with elaborate stucco decoration above the ground floor level, that makes a significant contribution to the streetscape. The place is of social significance as evidenced by its classification by the National Trust.

Physical Description

Three storey rendered building with highly decorative façade and parapet with brackets featuring the name 'Pearse's Buildings' in stucco. There is central, large and highly decorative pediment with a small pediment either side. The ground floor has a veranda awning over the shopfronts; 72 & 74 appear to have original shopfronts and has small tiles intact, the first floor has casement windows with a fixed transom light above. The second floor façade has sets of three arched windows with stucco architraves and engaged low piers below. These, and pairs of first floor windows, are flanked by tall decorative pilasters.

A Heritage Assessment was prepared in June/Aug 2009 by Heritage and Conservation Professionals for Council (VA12/09) for replacement shop front windows and flooring.


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.
Owned by James Pearse from c1900, as a shop with offices upstairs. Leased to a variety of tenants. In 1945 alterations for Pearse Bros. to the upstairs verandah were carried out by R A Ellis.
A Heritage Assessment was prepared in June/Aug 2009 by Heritage and Conservation Professionals for Council (VA12/09) for replacement shop front windows and flooring.
Currently (2010), various retail and commercial uses.


High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability).
Medium degree of authenticity with some original fabric remaining.
(These statements based on street survey only).


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

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Other Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex
Present Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shop\Retail Store {single}
Original Use COMMERCIAL Bank

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall RENDER Smooth

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.