Department of Finance

Heritage buildings

The Globe Hotel was constructed in 1883 in a Federation Filigree style. Its three levels of rendered masonry were fronted by a cast iron verandah that sheltered a bar on the ground floor, and hotel accommodation in the two floors above. It was built opposite the Perth railway station to cater for the newly constructed Fremantle to Guildford railway line which opened in 1881. It was extended and renovated around 1897 and again in the late 1920s/early 1930s.The building operated throughout as an accommodation hotel with bar and dining facilities but in 1995 was converted for use as a backpackers hostel. Bairds Building and Globe Hotel

During 2009, work began on the repair and conservation of both the rendered and fair-face brickwork facades. The northern façade to Wellington Street has been fully refurbished with ruled ashlar render stone. This has been squared and laid in regular courses with fire joints. In accordance with both photographic and physical evidence, mouldings and timber window joinery were then reinstated and a new two storey verandah was created in cast iron with decorative patterns to match the original. The western and southern façades contemporary steel stair has been added to the southern façade to serve the building's upper levels.

Bairds Building, originally called the Commercial Building at 491-493 Wellington Street, is a four storey Federation Free Style design. The site was originally occupied by several smaller buildings built in 1905 for Levi Green, owner of the Black Swan Foundry. 

Around 1921, the site was redeveloped as home to the Bairds Company, a name it retains today. At that time, the building housed both their retail hardware and commercial operations, hence its name. From 1969 the building operated as the Myer Emporium and from 1993 to 2004, Valhalla Games and Hobbies occupied the retail shop on the ground floor until the Metro Rail project commenced in 2004.

Works began on restoring the building’s northern and western façades in 2009. Restoration included the conservation and the repair of the original Donnybrook stonework and tuck pointed brickwork façades. Repair and refurbishment of the existing, original window joinery has also been undertaken along with the installation of new profiled timber shop-fronts. Based on photographic evidence, two stunning lattice supported canopies that grace Wellington Street, were also reinstated. The Southern façade facing Gordon Stephenson House has been reconstructed with a contemporary façade.

The Wellington Buildings was constructed in 1910, in the late gold boom period, and was part of the reconstruction of the central Perth business district as small shops where demolished and replaced by multi-story commercial and retail premises. The Wellington Buildings

The Wellington Buildings was designed for Harry Higham by architects Charles Oldham and Alfred Cox and is a good example of their work. Both Oldham and Cox were attracted to Western Australia from interstate during the Gold Boom in the 1890s and, individually and in partnership, were responsible for a number of commercial, public and residential buildings throughout Western Australia.

From 1910 to 2004, the Wellington Buildings operated continually as commercial premises. In 2004 it was operating with shops at ground floor level and small tenancies on the upper level. In 2005 it was vacated to prepare for the construction of the Perth underground railways station.

The upper floors maintained much of the building’s original construction but the ground floor had little heritage authenticity. The shopfronts appeared to have been altered a number of times in the life of the building, with the interiors of some shops completely stripped out and replaced.

In 2005, all ground floor fit-out was removed. Original elements such as pressed metal ceilings and timber floors were either retained in situ or stored for reinstatement.

Government Office Accommodation Master Plan

The Globe Hotel, Bairds Building and Wellington Buildings were included in the Government Office Accommodation Master Plan Central Government Precinct to consolidate government tenancies in the Perth CBD. The buildings were renovated and fitted out for contemporary office accommodation while recognising the heritage qualities of the buildings.

The buildings were occupied by the following Government agencies in 2012:

  • Wellington Buildings – the Department of Finance
  • Globe – Department of Treasury Strategic Projects
  • Bairds Building – State Heritage Office; Department of Finance Office of the Government Architect. 

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