Heritage Listed House Renovation in Hilton WA

I had an assumption that heritage listed buildings had to be from the early 20th century such as 1920s or 1930s. My assumption was proven wrong. In fact, the current renovation project in Hilton is a restoration build for a house built in 1959. You might wonder how and why? Here’s an extract from a planning policy from City of Fremantle.


The “Hilton Garden Suburb Precinct” Heritage Area is of cultural heritage significance within the City of Fremantle as an example of a substantially intact ‘Garden Suburb’ dating from the immediate post World War 2 period and characterised by its curvilinear road layout, parks, large and irregular shaped lots.

It has historical value as an area developed by the State Housing Commission to provide affordable housing at a time of increased housing demand in Australia, particularly to house new arrivals: returned servicemen and immigrants. It also has historical significance for its association with the importation of prefabricated homes from Austria and for the timber homes designed by prominent architect Marshall Clifton, many of which remain extant in the area. House design was influenced by the modernist movement in architecture which prevailed widely in the post-war period. The designs were functional without being decorative.

This project is special for John Bodin and his team because it is the biggest renovation and home alteration project so far, and it was the first time they took on a house which had not been lived-in for a couple of years. After building a new home in the back area of the block, the owner had a plan to renovate the heritage listed house, which occupied the front area. That was the plan. Then nothing happened for a while.

I’m sharing with you still images from an iPhone film footage. These were taken on the day when John’s team arrived to start the demolition work.

When I visited the site to see the progress it became clear just what it means to restore a heritage listed house. The aim is to honour the integrity and the design while making the home modern and functional for the 21st century.

It was exciting to see the back of the meter box showing the building completion date of 6 March 1959. It’s very much like an episode of Grand Designs, but with all the style and flavour of Western Australian. Will John and his team succeed? I bet they will.

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