inHerit Logo

Old Council Offices


City of South Perth

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


111 Mill Point Rd South Perth

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Roads Board Building
South Perth Heritage House

Local Government

South Perth



Construction Date

Constructed from 1904

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 14 Nov 2000
State Register Registered 02 Jul 1999 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

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
(no listings)

Statement of Significance

The following statement is drawn from the Heritage Council of Western Australia Register entry for the inclusion of Old Council Officers in the State Register of Heritage Places in 1999.
Old Council Offices, a single storey brick and iron building in the Federation Free Style has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
• the presence of the place contributes towards, and forms part of, a historic group of buildings at the junction of Mends Street, Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road;
• the place has associations with the development of the suburb of South Perth and reflects the attitudes of the period when Road Board Offices were a public expression of civic pride;
• the place has associations with the adjacent Old Mill Theatre (formerly Mechanics Institute, 1899), both of which represent the development of the local government in South Perth; and,
• the place has social significance for the residents of South Perth who wished the building to be returned to the rate payers for their use as a repository for heritage records and research.

Physical Description

The South Perth Roads Board building) is a single storey brick building in the Federation Free Classical architectural style. The front section of the building has been finished with tuck-pointing and further enhanced by the cream painted rendered classical detailing to the façade including parapet, pediment, window arches, pilasters and plinth. A rendered string course extends along the side elevations, continuing to the lintels and sills. The original galvanised corrugated iron roof has been replaced with zincalume, long length sheets.

The building presents in three sections: the front section which formed the Council Office; the central section located behind and is slightly narrower which was the Council Chamber; and the rear section which has a wider plan form than the former Chambers which was constructed in the 1930s to similar detailing as the original two sections of the building.

The façade faces Mill Point Road and due to the surrounding open space, makes a striking contribution to the streetscape. The façade presents in a symmetrical manner with centrally positioned double timber doors with solid arched fanlight above. The doors are flanked by pairs of 1-over-1 timber framed sash windows with arched fanlights. The rendered sills to the windows form a continuous low level band to the two sections of the façade. The five arched openings create a strong rhythm to the façade.

The rendered corner pilasters frame the façade and extend from ground level to the balustrade parapet which further frames the front elevation. The entrance bay projects marginally from the remainder of the façade and is given further prominence by the decorative pediment above the opening, which integrates into the parapet. The parapet wall wraps around the side elevations, gradually reducing in height to the main building height with opposing curved wall capping elements.

The side elevations of the former Council Chambers continue the tuck pointing and rendered finish but the windows are multi-paned frosted glass casements rather than double hung sash windows. The 1930s rear section is also tuck pointed with a rendered band around the openings.

Each of the three sections of building incorporates a separate roof form, albeit all gabled roofs clad in zincalume. The front section of roof is hidden from view by the parapet wall when viewed from Mill Point Road but is clearly visible in the side profile views. The ridge of the front section of roof sits well below the central section of roof. The rear section is a much lower roof with shallower pitch. A single brick chimney is positioned at the north eastern edge of the central section of the building, with tuck pointing to the brickwork and decorative rendered corbelling to the flue.

Recent landscaping surrounds the building.


The following information is largely drawn from the Heritage Council of Western Australia Assessment document prepared in 1999 for the inclusion of Old Council Offices in the State Register of Heritage Places.

When the South Perth Road Board was first formed in 1892, members met in each other’s houses, along Mends Street and Suburban Road (later re-named Mill Point Road). In 1889, the Mechanics’ Institute Hall was built, and Road Board meetings were held in rooms rented in the new building. A decision was made in October 1903 to build offices for the Road Board. Plans were drawn up by local architect and Council Surveyor, Duncan Inverarity, and the successful tenderer was local builder, Frederick Stidworthy. Fred Stidworthy was a first class stone mason and was commissioned to design and construct the stone work at the zoo. From there he went on to do the stone work at the Perth Museum.

The plans for the new Road Board Offices were expanded to include a meeting chamber, and the first meeting was held in the new building on 17 November 1904. A strong room was installed in March 1914, and minor renovations were carried out by G B Puttlich & Son during World War I. When the offices became crowded, two additional rooms were added at the rear of the building in 1937.

By the 1950s, the Road Board Offices had become dilapidated and the inadequacy of office space was still a problem. Progress towards a new civic centre was finally made in 1959, the year the South Perth district became a City. The foundation stone for a new civic centre in South Terrace was laid in May 1959, and the building was opened by the Premier, David Brand, on 10 December 1960.

With the establishment of a new Civic Centre, the South Perth Road Board Offices (Fmr) and the Mends Street Hall (former Mechanics Institute) were no longer required for civic use. The South Perth Road Board Offices (Fmr) were initially rented by a security firm until 1977, after which the building became a medical surgery.

In 1989, a decision was made to use the South Perth Road Board Offices (Former) as a centre for historical research by the local community. Extensive repairs were carried out, and on 7 June 1992, the building was rededicated as ‘South Perth Heritage House’. It was staffed by the Local Studies Librarian as a resource centre for local history, and was also used as a meeting place for relevant community groups including the South Perth Historical Society. The building is also used to exhibit art collections from time to time, and is home to the May Gibbs art collection owned by the City. A notable feature of the building is the large strong room which is useful in holding a valuable collection of historical photographs and original documents.

Following completion of major renovations and expansion of the Civic Centre Library, the City’s local studies records and officers vacated Heritage House and relocated to the Civic Centre Library. On 1 July 2013, the South Perth Historical Society commenced a lease of the premises and continue to occupy the place which is also used as a gallery space and cultural centre for the City of South Perth.


Moderate / Moderate




Name Type Year From Year To
Duncan Inverarity Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
David Kelsall "Architectural Assessment" Heritage Architect 1999

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
9608 Conservation plan: heritage house, South Perth. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1996

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use HEALTH Other
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Town, Shire or District Hall

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Zincalume

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

01 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

27 Nov 2020


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.