This is a suggested way to view the city.
Start at the former Perth Girls School on Wellington and Plain Streets. Parking is available in the car park in Plain St .Walk down Wellington to Lord St and you can see the Country Health Building at 189 Wellington St.
Go up to Victoria Square and on the left hand side of Lord St, walk past Royal Perth Hospital to Goderich St . On the corner of Goderich St and Hill St, look at Mercedes Music rooms .Then continue down to the Carlton Hotel on the cnr of Hay and Hill St . Walk along Hay until Victoria Square past the Cathedral and back towards the Hospital.
You will pass the UWA School of Medicine on Victoria Square and Royal Perth Block. Continue back down to Wellington St and at 298-300 you will see the Perth City YHA. Continue along to 379 and look at the Central Grand Backpackers and finally at the Taka Japanese Restaurant on the cnr of Barrack and Wellington.
Head up to Murray St and walk up a bit back towards Royal Perth and view the beautiful buildings on the stretch of street between Barrack and Irwin St. Walk up one side and back the other. Look up!
Pass the Young Australia league building at 45 Murray and the building at 50 Murray. Walk downtown towards Pier St, turn left and walk down to Hay and see the Criterion Hotel at 560 Hay.
When you cross Hay and Barrack it is worth walking back a bit to the right to see the Bon Marche Arcade at 80 Barrack St. Then return to Hay St and continue down the Mall.
On the cnr of Hay and Barrack there is an Art Deco facade verandah on the McNess Royal Arcade. The rest of the building is not Art Deco.
Continue down on your right and look at the Savoy Plaza Arcade at 650 Hay and the Piccadilly arcade which goes through from Hay to Murray St. Look at the features both ends . London Court is on your left opposite the Hay St entrance of the Piccadilly. Walk down London Court and you will come out at St Georges Terrace. Cross the road and go down Sherwood Court and look at Lawson Apartments at 4 Sherwood and walk along the Esplanade to view Phoenix House at 8-10 The Esplanade.
Walk back to Barrack St. and turn right and go down to the Supreme Court buildings to see JJ Talbot Hobbs statue, go back up Barrack St.and look at the Malaysian Airline Building at 56 William.
Continue up Barrack to the cnr of Hay and Barrack and view the Gledden building on the corner. Look at the lovely painted glass panels inside as you walk through the Arcade.
Next door to the right is Devon House at 729 Hay. Continue back up the Mall and look at Sheffield House on your right at 723 and at Trinity House at 671-681 Hay, then Katie’s House on the right at 667 Hay . Turn around and walk back on the other side of Hay to William St. and look at the former Economic Stores on the cnr of William and Hay. (opposite to Gledden Building).
Cross William St. and continue up Hay St, on the right you will see Harpers buildings at 810-824, Dynons China Buildings at 905 Hay St, then look at the former Bank of NSW , the Prada building on the cnr of Hay and King opposite his Majesty’s Theatre. On the cnr of Milligan and Hay is Howlings Bar Restaurant and walk down Milligan towards Murray St. Look at the buildings on the corners and the details on the WD and HO Wills Apartment Building and the West End Apartments. Look at Hotel Milligan and the Red Sky building further down Murray St on the left hand side. Now walk back to St George’s Terrace and walk up towards the Barracks, on your right is the First Church of Christ Scientist Building and then cross St George’s Tce to see McNess Fountain at the back of the park, and finally Newspaper house and go inside and look at the great Art Deco features and relax!
Swan Army Barracks West Wing 2 Francis St, Perth, WA, 6000 The red brick, two storey east wing was constructed along the Francis Street boundary of the barracks from 1939-41 and reflects the functional simplicity and military severity in its detail of the ‘modern style’ typical of the late 1930’s. There is a sophisticated use of decorative brickwork on the parapet and over the vehicular entries which lends character to the building. The lovely stylised metal gates are still there.read more
38 Roe St, Northbridge WA 6003 1939. In 1903 Du Feu & Co Ltd a metal, tin ware and spouting manufacturers, built a one level natural brick building for use as their factory. In mid 1939, after a fire, architect Mr W. G. Bennett, and builders, Messrs Angell and Clarkit converted the building into the rendered two storeys that we see today. This change in the building allowed the factory to become one of the most up-to-date and modern business in the State, with over 50 employees.read more
Former Perth Girl’s School and Police Traffic Branch, East Perth, corner of Wellington and Plain Streets (1934). Architect A.E. Clare (Govt. Architect). Built as Perth Girl’s School, this building received an architectural award for workmanship and use of local materials. The monumental style brick building is rendered to simulate stone, and the pyramidal roofs show Art Deco ‘Egyptian’ influences. Note the symmetry around the central tower and the balance of vertical and horizontal...read more
Mercedes College Music Rooms (1937) previously Rostrevor Flats Corner of Goderich and Hill Streets, East Perth. Architects: Cavanagh and Cavanagh.This was once a splendid block of flats when inner city living was a new phenomonen. The building features a bold curve to the corner. Note the intricate sculpted panels with geometric Art Deco designs. The place was given a conservation award for its sensitive conversion in 1995 with most internal structure and detailing retainedread more
Carlton Hotel ( 1928) 248-260 Hay St (cnr Goderich St) East Perth. Architects: Eales and Cohen, it was the first hotel to incorporate garages. It is two storied brick and tile roofed building, and has a combination of the different styles featured during this period of change. A blend of Art Deco, Anglo-Dutch, Spanish Mission and Mediterranean result in a unique blendread more
Country Health Services Building (1936) 189 Wellington St (South), Perth. Formerly the Perth Dental Hospital until 2001.This dignified building by Architect Reg Summerhayes, is of red brick with a terracotta tiled roof, typical of Perth domestic architecture. The simple, symmetrical façade features an impressive entry with Art Deco columns, relief sculpture panels and grills.read more
UWA School of Medicine Building (1934) Victoria Square ,Perth (adjacent to hospital entrance). This modest brick building hints at a conservative Deco style. Its simple classical proportions incorporate decorative maerials in the tapestry brick arch and the rusticated brick quoins. It was originally the Cancer Clinic for Royal Perth Hospital.read more
Royal Perth Hospital, Block A (1939-1956) . Wellington St (South), Perth Architect: A.E. Clare (Govt. Architect ).Opened in June 1948. This was the largest government building project of its time. The essentially simple form features a large Deco entrance portico featuring ceramic tiles on curved wings and cinema-style recessed light fittings. Note the continuous horizontal line of cantilevered balconies balancing the verticals.read more
Young Australia League. The League’s headquarters are at 45 Murray Street, at the corner of Irwin Street, Perth. A heritage listed building which was built in 1924 to accommodate clubrooms and administration. The foyer houses an extensive museum of memorabilia associated with the League’s early years .read more
Perth City YHA (1939) 298-300 Wellington St (North) Perth. Architects: Ochiltree and Hargrave. Once the St. John’s Ambulance Building, this symmetrical structure is faced with simulated stone in the Monumental Art Deco style. Note the prominent central tower and stripped back sculptural detailing. The Art Deco interior is mostly intactread more
Grand Central Backpackers (1884, refurbished c.1930 1993) 379 Wellington St (South) Perth. The original Grand Hotel was ‘modernised’ with a Minimal Art Deco façade and fine detailing to the interior.read more
n Now Taka Japanese Restaurant Café (c. 1938) Cnr. Barrack and Wellington Streets, Perth. The corner curve echoes the original Art Deco styled Masel Building. This commercial block with offices above featured a stepped design with balanced vertical and horizontal lines and incised lettering.150-152 Barrack St, Perth WA 6000. This building is interesting – the current façade may not be original. There is an image from 1941 in the State Library showing P & I Masel on that site with a different art deco...read more
Bon Marché Arcade 78-84 Barrack St, Perth is one of the city’s oldest arcades and once home to a popular department store. A commercial building, it is constructed in brick, with stucco decoration and an iron roof in the Federation Free Classical style. It was first called Brookman’s Buildings before becoming part of Bon Marche Stores in 1920, and the place was designed by architect H. J. Prockter . It was built by builder Arthur Nelson, for W. G. Brookman. In 1901 additions were carried out by the same builder....read more
Criterion Hotel (1937) 560 Hay St, Perth. Architects: Hobbs and Forbes. Formerly named the Regatta Hotel, is the site of this last remaining Art Deco hotel in Perth’s CBD and has been a popular hostelry from colonial days. Notice the “skyscrapers” with flagpoles bracketing grouped windows and openings emphasising vertical lines and contrasts of light. Note the doors, ceilings, stairways, light fittings and leadlight windows. At the internal landing there are leadlight windows containing an Art Deco design...read more
Plaza Theatre and Arcade ( 1937) 650 Hay St, Perth. Architect: W.G.Bennett (with Taylor and Soilleux) . The first purpose-designed Art Deco cinema in Perth complemented a once elegant shopping arcade. Note the symmetry around the central tower, emphasising its verticalit with prominent finial and signage.read more
Perth GPO Building Forrest Place, Perth. This building is in the Beaux-Arts style and is a fine example of monumental civic architecture. It demonstrates the use of large scale classical motifs and the use of high quality local materials and craftsmanship.read more
Former Commonwealth Bank (1930) Opposite the Murray St. end of Piccadilly Arcade, Perth. This building demonstrates continuation of the Classical style. Both the GPO and the Commonwealth Bank buildings were designed by John Smith Murdoch in the Inter-War Beaux-Arts Style and faced with Donnybrook stone.read more
Piccadilly Theatre and Arcade (1938) 704 Hay St, Perth. Architect: William T. Leighton. This nautical moderne style complex, was the most ambitious project of its day, and one of the finest Art Deco cinemas in Australia. Note the asymmetric architectural massing, the pylon style tower and incised lettering to both frontages to the arcade, speed motifs and relief sculptures feature inside the cinema. Look for the bas relief sporting couple near the Murray St....read more
London Court (1937) Opposite Plaza Arcade in Hay St. down to St. George’s Terrace, Perth. This eccentric ‘street’ in the Mock or Tudor Revival style was perhaps a reaction or alternative to “modernism” and is obviously English and in 1937 when it was built, Britain was still referred to as “the home country” by a high proportion of Western Australians. It was built for goldmining entrepreneur Claude De Bernales, who also financed the Piccadilly.read more
Phoenix House (1930) Also known as The Atlas Building, 8-10 The Esplanade, Perth. Architect: F.G.B.Hawkins. This classically styled building for Atlas Insurance, once topped by a sculpture of Atlas, exhibits Art Deco elements in the entry. Note the decorated bronze doors, fan-light and original marbled directory, the Deco wall tiles in the foyer, Egyptian-influenced seat, original mail box and light fittings.Door handles throughout feature the Atlas figureread more
Lawson Apartments (1937) 4 Sherwood Court, Perth. Architects: Hennessey and Hennessey with R. Summerhayes. These apartment towers are of brick, faced with imitation stone. The simple lines and gentle colour contrast with the cinema style. Note the balanced horizontal (decorated) and vertical lines, distinctive corner entry topped by a decorative motif and placement of windows and balconies. There is a slight Spanish influence in its external appearance. Used in WW ll as the WA State Cabinet headquarters, it now houses the Karrakatta...read more
J.J.Talbot Hobbs Memorial Statue (1940) facing Barrack St.in the Supreme Court Gardens, Perth. Designers Hobbs Winning and Leighton architects; Sculptor : Edward Kohler.Lt. General Sir John Joseph Talbot Hobbs was W.A.’s most distinguished WWI soldier, and renowned architect. He designed the Swan Brewery over a period of thirty six years from 1897 and also Newspaper House in St. George’s Terrace. Made of sandstone and granite, the unusually tall Art Deco base supports a bust likeness. Since 1940 the Anzac Day salute has been taken at this...read more
Malaysian Airline Building (1930) 56 William St, Perth. Architects: Hobbs, Forbes and Smith. It was built for P&O (Orient) who provided a vital shipping link for Perth, this well proportioned Depression era building is stripped to essentials. The Deco interior features sandstone, marble, terrazzo and local jarrah timber, with delicate leadlights, granite dado and fine wrought iron balustrading.read more
Walshes Building Formerly Economic Stores Ltd, taken over by Cox Brothers in 1952 – Built on the corner of William and Hay Streets in 1923 by Architect J.J. Talbot Hobbs in the classically symmetrical Inter-War Art Deco style. Talbot Hobbs was responsible for a number of buildings in the Central Business District of Perth. Renovated in 2011.read more
Gledden Building and Arcade (1937) 723 Hay St. corner Hay and William St, Perth. Architect: Oldham Boas and Ednie Browne. It was built for goldmining surveyor, Robert Gleddon. Perth’s only “skyscraper” imitates New York...read more
Devon House (1937) 729 Hay St, Perth. Architect: William T. Leighton. This cleverly designed structure with a single room to each floor demonstrates a harmonious balance of horizontal and vertical elements typical of the Inter-War Functionalist and Art Deco style. The three buildings, Devon, Gledden and P & O (Malaysian Airlines), together with the Economic (Walshes) Store on the opposite corner, make a strong collection of late...read more
Capitol Building/ Former Magnet House (c. 1930) Murray St .( South), Perth. An industrial Art Deco building in which, it is believed, electric motors were made. The simple geometric façade makes clever decorative use of ventilation grids, incised lettering and the relief magnet sculpture on the parapet.read more
Wentworth Plaza Hotel (1928 ) cnr Murray and William St , Perth. Situated on the corner, this two story building in in the Inter-War art deco style. It was restored back to its original condition in 1986.read more
Dynon’s China Hall Building (1920) 905 Hay st, Perth. The facade is all that is left today of the building. It was built by John Dynon an importer of China, glass , earthenware and fancy goods. It is interwar free classical style.read more
Harper’s Building (1937) 810-824 Hay St (North), Perth. Architects: E and R Summerhayes. Created for the gold mining manager N.Harper, this unusual building features typical Art Deco designs in coloured brick. Note the stepped parapet, chrome plated lettering, horizontal bandings and steel windows. At ground level, note the sandblasted glass doors, and patterned terrazzo floors and stairs.read more