Posted on 01 May 2015.
A heritage-listed Art Deco landmark that in recent years has blighted the best street in the Fremantle suburb of Beaconsfield is being groomed for a date with the wrecking ball.
Dubbed ‘Cindy Crawford’s freckle‘ by a port city wit who pens graffiti a bit, the house (pictured above, right) is the only major blemish on urbane Edmund Street – which has panoramic views over the Indian Ocean and in the last 10 years has become home to several of Fremantle’s rich and semi-famous.
Until the mid-1990s the house was the jewel in the crown of Edmund Street, having been converted by an Italian immigrant family from a 1901-built limestone cottage to an Art Deco delight in the mid-1950s.
‘VERY FINE EXAMPLE’
The Freckle, in fine fettle, in 1993.
The house was added to Fremantle council’s heritage list in 2000, and in early 2007 a city heritage report said it was “a very fine example of the application of the Inter-War Art Deco detailing to a c1900 stone cottage”.
“The interior is a highly authentic and intact example of the Art Deco style,” the report enthused.
But that was then.
These days, according to a new heritage report prepared for Hocking Heritage Studio on behalf of Freckle owner Peter Zoric of an outfit called Zoric + Construction, “the property now forms a landmark of a completely different nature and for all the wrong reasons”.
Once dubbed ‘Hillinook’, and known as Beaconsfield’s ‘icecream house’, the bungalow morphed into a malignant freckle from 2005 when its owner, Hannah Smith, died.
Inside The Freckle …
… circa 2007.
In February 2006 then new owners Peter and Georgie Zoric unsuccessfully applied to erect a two-storey house on the site, and in 2007 applied to have the council’s refusal of their plans overturned in the State Administrative Tribunal.
The Freckle, as recently as 2007.
That the SAT did, and in late 2007 the roof, floors and 1950s alterations were demolished.
With The Freckle mired in red tape and inactivity ever since, the council has received many queries and complaints about the state of the structure.
The Zorics have now applied to demolish the rest of the once wonderful house, and Fremantle council planners have recommended they be allowed to do so.
The Freckle’s fate is slated to be debated at a council planning committee meeting on May 6.
Moves to excise the heritage-listed freckle from the face of Fremantle come as the historic port city gears up to host its annual heritage festival from May 8 to 17.
1993 photo: City of Fremantle Library: Fremantle History Centre via Zoric/Hocking Heritage Studio heritage assessment.