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Moores Building, 42-46 Henry St, Fremantle, WA, Australia

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List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (21/03/1978)
Place ID 10562
Place File No 5/12/010/0095
Statement of Significance
Moores Building (1869-99) has historic significance for its ability to demonstrate the practice and changes in trade and merchanting that were directly related to the growth of Western Australia (WA). The place reflects the increasing sophistication of the economic base of the colonial settlement, the number of inhabitants and the quality and diversity of goods and services brought into the colony (Criterion A.4). With its earlier structures extant, Moores Building provides a record of architectural development over a significant period of Fremantle's growth. The place is able to further our understanding of lifestyle, preparation of goods for trade and export and the administration of a large scale and diverse commercial enterprise in a remote location during the nineteenth century (Criterion C.2). Moores Building is an illustration of the architectural development in Fremantle between the cessation of transportation (1868) and the gold rushes (1890s). The unified facade presents a sophisticated architectural form which helps define the gold boom character of the streetscape and makes Moores Building an important element in Henry Street and the west end of Fremantle. Viewed from the rear of the site, the buildings illustrate the character of the earlier, colonial, townscape (Criterion E.1). Moores Building is closely associated with William Dalgety Moore who gained substantial wealth from his business on the site and exercised political power in both Fremantle and in the newly formed Legislative Council (Criterion H.1).
Official Values Not Available
The development of Lots 89 and 90 Henry Street, Fremantle, began in 1844. Between 1868 and 1900 William Dalgety Moore operated a business as a general merchant on the site. This was a period of considerable growth within the colony that originated from several factors including the importation of labour and capital during the convict period and the gold rush that resulted in increased exploration and settlement within the State. The business, known as W D Moore and Company, provided a wide range of essential commodities to settlers from Busselton to Cossack. Business activities of the company included importation and warehousing of goods, wholesale, retail and mail order distribution, processing and packaging of food and other household items (including blending tea, manufacture of jellies and production of floor polishes). In 1900, W D Moore and Company was advertising in The Western Mail as 'Hardware, Wine, Beer, Spirit and General Merchants', with ironmongery, agricultural and mining equipment in its stock. The housing, stables and warehouse buildings in the complex (with the exception of the back store) were constructed during the period 1869-99 to house the administrative and commercial centre of W D Moore and Company. The building of substantial warehouses was an essential part of this commercial activity as general merchants had to carry an enormous range of products and the infrequency of supply necessitated warehousing sufficient stock for several months in advance. The development of the site was typical of early family businesses that grew to consolidate their holdings. The site contained a dwelling (which was developed to include a warehouse), a factory, an office and a shop and eventually a substantial town house. During the gold boom, when substantial building work was being undertaken, these were unified behind a new ornamented stucco facade. The unification of the various buildings in this way was typical of the upgrading of the building stock in the colony which took place during the gold boom. These new buildings demonstrated the increasing prosperity of the colony, the changing taste in design and the increasing sophistication of the construction industry. In 1873, William D Moore was elected the first President of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and remained in the position till 1895; he was an elected member of the State's first Legislative Council and had been the first Treasurer of Fremantle Town Council in 1871. His business influence in the colony was substantial, sustained by the expansion of his business, which included a fleet of ships plying trade along the coast of WA. The Moores Buildings changed ownership within the Moore family in the early twentieth century, before being sold to other interests in 1956. At the time of sale the site had been in the ownership of the Moore family for 108 years. Subsequent ownership has seen little change to the buildings. The site was purchased by the City of Fremantle with funds made available by the Commonwealth Government in celebration of the America's Cup victory in September 1983 and since that time the site has been used for public events and exhibitions. Following restoration by the City of Fremantle in 1993-94 Moores Building was awarded first place in the 1994 Heritage Conservation and Property Value Awards by the Heritage Council of WA.
Moores Building comprises a complex of housing, stone stables and shingled warehouses that were constructed between 1869-99. A three storey back store was built sometime after 1844 but before 1863. Apart from this structure, the earliest of the buildings was constructed in 1868 with subsequent development occurring in seven stages. The physical evidence from each stage remains and has been carefully documented. Most stages of development incorporated within them a previously existing building, or extended an existing building. Early buildings were constructed from local materials: principally rubble limestone walls, brick quoined openings and shingled roofs, in one and two storeyed rectangularly planned elements. Later construction incorporated corrugated iron. At the time of the gold rushes a new ornamental facade was built across the front of the buildings to consolidate them into one unified length to Henry Street. Built in the Victorian Classical style, the facade took the form of a two storey stucco frontage featuring arched pediments over the windows, an asymmetrically placed triangular pediment over the main entrance with decoration to the tympanum, a balustrade parapet and imitation quoins and ashlar coursings. The Moore family did little to alter the premises between 1900-56, when they sold the property.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Purchased by Fremantle City Council in 1986 with aid of Commonwealth America's Cup funding and restored for commercial leasing. Since 1988, Moores Building has been subject to staged conservation work, guided by the Conservation Plan. After the 1993-94 restoration works to the place, Moores Building is in good condition. (1995)
42-46 Henry Street, Fremantle.
Apperly, R., Irving, R., Reynolds, R., (1989) A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture., Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present (Angus & Robertson, North Ryde) pp. 52-55.

Australian Heritage Commission Data Sheet
Dufty, E., (1993) 'The Moores Building, Henry Street, Fremantle: Window Schedule Report' (City of Fremantle) p. 7.

Kent, J., Kiera, A., and Dawkins, J., (1988) 'The Moores Buildings: History, Evolution, Conservation' (City of Fremantle) pp. 14-15, 35 & 58.

National Trust Assessment Exposition

Western Mail (Christmas Issue 1900)

Conservation Incentives Program grant application, City of Fremantle, 1992/1993.

Report Produced  Wed Aug 27 19:08:05 2014