Adelaide Steamship House

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Adelaide Steamship House
Adelaide steamship house gnangarra-24.jpg
Street view from the corner of Phillimore Street
General information
Architectural style Federation Free Classical
Address 10-12 Mouat Street
Town or city Fremantle
Current tenants The Port Counselling Centre
Construction started 1900
Completed November 1900
Renovated 1947-48, 1991, 2006
Owner Adelaide Steamship Company
Technical details
Floor count 2
Design and construction
Architecture firm Oldham and Eales
Main contractor C. Coghill
Renovating team
Architect F.G.B. Hawkins
Awards and prizes Commendation – 1993 Heritage Conservation and Property Value Awards

The Adelaide Steamship House is located at 10-12 Mouat Street, Fremantle. Built in 1900, the building was designed by Fremantle based architectural firm Charles Oldham and Herbert Eales and was constructed by C. Coghill.[1] The building takes its name from the original owners of the building, the Adelaide Steamship Company, who provided sea passenger and freight services around Australia.

Adelaide Steamship Company[edit]

The Adelaide Steamship Company (ASC) was formed in September 1875 in Adelaide by a group of pastoralists and businessmen.[2] In 1883 the ASC purchased two steamboats, the Otway and the Rob Roy from Anderson & Marshall and Lillie & Company securing the provision of services from Melbourne to Derby.[3] Following the discovery of gold in the Kimberley in 1885, Pilbara in 1888, and Coolgardie-Kalgoorlie in 1892, the ASC further expanded its trading routes in Western Australia.[4]

In 1883 the ASC established an office in Fremantle, initially with an agent and then with its own staff. The company originally leased offices in Fremantle at the corner of Cliff and Phillimore Streets. In 1900 the company purchased two properties in Mouat Street to construct their offices close to the Fremantle wharf. The ASC engaged a local architectural firm, Oldham and Eales to design the building. Construction was undertaken by Mr C. Coghill, a local North Fremantle builder, in the latter half of 1900. The building was completed by the end of November 1900 and the manager of Adelaide Steamship, William Ernest Moxon, and his staff took possession of the building.[5] Moxon was appointed as the Western Australian manager of ASC in 1896 and continued in that role for over twenty years, until 1918, when he took the position of manager of the ASC's Queensland operations. During his tenure Moxon was the chairman of the Steamship Owners of Australasia, Fremantle Branch for fifteen years and for two years the president of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.[6]

Architectural style[edit]

The building is a two storey stone structure built in the Federation Free Classical style. The upper floor has a balustrade parapet, elaborate central pediment and stuccoed ionic pilasters. The upper floor rectangular windows have false balustrading and shell decorations above them. The ground floor has a granite plinth, horizontal shadow lines, broad doric pilasters and large arched openings.[7]

The building was damaged by fire in January 1946[8] with a second fire in April 1947[9] resulting in extensive restorations to its original design occurring during 1947-48, under the supervision of architect F. Hawkins.[10]

The Adelaide Steamship Company operated the Western Australian operations of their company from the premises until 1978, when the building was sold. In 1991 the building was restored and converted into a residence, office, store and warehouse.

Heritage value[edit]

The building was placed on the Register of the National Estate on 21 March 1978[11] and was classified by the National Trust of Australia (WA) on 5 November 2012.

The building was formally listed on the State Register of Heritage Places by the Heritage Council of Western Australia on 1 July 1994.[12] It is also listed on the City of Fremantle's Municipal Heritage List.[13]


  1. ^ "Adelaide Steamship Company's New Offices". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 30 June 1900. p. 25. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Adelaide Steamship Company Ltd (1875–1997)". Guide to Australian Business Records. 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "Nautical". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 9 May 1883. p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the South Australian Register. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "South Australian shipping lines: Adelaide Steamship Company". SA Memory. State Library of South Australia. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Western Australian Directory [Wise's] 1904" (PDF). Fremantle Directory. Wise's Directories. p. 129. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Adelaide Steamship Co". Perth Gazette. Perth: National Library of Australia. 3 February 1931. p. 8. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Adelaide Steamship Buildings (former)". Traces of the Past. University of Western Australia. Retrieved 25 July 2013. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Fire At Fremantle". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 25 January 1946. p. 1 Edition: City Final. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fremantle Office Gutted". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 26 April 1947. p. 28 Edition: First Edition. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Heritage Council. "Adelaide Steamship House". Assessment Document. Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 20 November 2012. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Adelaide Steamship House (former), 10-12 Mouat St, Fremantle, WA, Australia". Australian Heritage Database. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Adelaide Steamship House (fmr) Place No. 00959" (pdf). Register of Heritage Places. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "City of Fremantle Heritage List" (PDF). City of Fremantle. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Plowman, Peter (2007). Coast to Coast: The Great Australian Coastal Liners. Rosenberg Publishing. ISBN 9781877058608. 
  • P. W. H. Thiel & Co (1901). Twentieh century impressions of Western Australia. Perth. 

Coordinates: 32°03′18″S 115°44′35″E / 32.05495°S 115.74316°E / -32.05495; 115.74316