Fremantle’s 1902 Elder Building listed with $5 million hopes
The 1902 Fremantle landmark the Elder Building has been listed for sale at $5 million with an adjoining separate vacant block available at $2 million. The block would be suitable for a four-storey building, according to the listing agent.
The stately Federation Free Classical offering had a $9.5 million asking price in 2010.
The building with a limestone façade and Melbourne bluestone is topped off with a copper-clad, domed turret designed for the merchants and shipping agents Dalgety & Co by Western Australian architect J.J Talbot Hobbs.
The land had been purchased from George Shenton, the Perth lord mayor between 1886 and 1888.
The ship lookout at the top on the top of the tower is 21 metres above the pavement.
Costing £40,000 and then representing the largest contract let privately in the state for a building, it is highly representative of 19th-century shipping offices with the grand business hall.
Frederick Gonnerman Dalgety had arrived in Sydney in 1834 before moving to Melbourne in 1842 as manager of the new firm. Dalgety prospered especially during the Victorian gold rush in the early 1850s, returning to England in 1854 to establish the headquarters of a metropolitan-colonial enterprise dealing mainly with Victorian pastoral companies. Dalgety & Co. continued to grow after the founder died in 1894.
Its ownership was transferred in 1927 to the agribusiness Elder Smith & Co and became known as the Elder Building.
During WWII it was requisitioned by the Australian Navy as its administration and intelligence headquarters.
It housed the Norwegian shipping company, Wilhelmsen Line, for 23 years and more recently Challenger TAFE. Ale Nominees sold it to the current investment syndicate in 2002.
A mixed-use residential and commercial development would be possible, says listing agent Fleur Barrett at O'Byrne Estate Agents Fremantle.
The 1,700-square-metre building on a 1,484-square-metre site could be refurbished as a private residence, converted to a boutique hotel, or made into an art gallery with artists' studios and accommodation for artists in residence.
It’s set at the corner of Phillimore and Cliff Streets.
Another 1902 Talbot Hobbs designed Cliff Street building, the Samson Bond store building, was converted into 13 luxury apartments in 2007.
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