Architect speaks out to save city’s heritage

BEN JONESSouth Western Times

Action needs to be taken to address the dilapidation of Bunbury’s heritage-listed buildings, according to architect Kent Lyon.

Mr Lyon singled out the Cronshaw’s building on Victoria Street as a prime example of the city’s historic past being allowed to fall into disrepair.

The Cronshaw’s building is a prime example of the inter-war functionalist architectural style — a successor to the more widely known modernist and art deco styles.

Mr Lyon said the building was the only example of the style he was aware of in the South West, while the State Heritage register states the incidence of the style is low across the State.

‘‘Buildings like this need to be kept in good repair, especially because they’re on the State Register of Heritage places,’’ Mr Lyon said.

‘‘They’re held up as being a very significant part of the community and an asset to the greater community.’’

Parts of the building’s street facade are afflicted by concrete cancer with cracks running along several balconies on the upper floor of the two storey building showing obvious signs of decay.

The Building’s owner Jamie Cronshaw said he and his brother had plans to renovate the building, which had been in the family for more than 50 years, and return its facade to its former glory.

He said anything to do with heritage-listed buildings took a lot of time.

An engineer’s report had taken 13 months to complete, but the brothers were now approaching builders to renovate the building.

Mr Cronshaw said he wanted to assure the Bunbury community the building was not being left to rot.

Mr Lyon has significant experience working with heritage-listed buildings and said the costs of repairing damage to historic buildings only increased as time went on.

‘‘There are heritage grants programs which are available for private individuals,’’ he said.

He said it would be a crying shame if the building became so dilapidated there was no other choice but to demolish it.

The building dates to 1938 and was added to the State Register of Heritage places in 1997, a list which includes neighbouring buildings including theRose Hotel and the WA Bank — now Lotteries House.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails