Residents in historic site renewal push

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Residents are pleading for the restoration of two historic Albany buildings which were abandoned more than a decade ago.

A dishevelled picket fence is all that encases the derelict resi-dences of the former WA Worsted and Woollen Mills employees.

Festings Street resident Michael O’Doherty is among those asking that the buildings be restored.

“We’re going to lose them and it’s a historic site,” he said.

“These places are just allowed to disappear and they are part of our built heritage. What makes Albany really attractive is some of the architecture, some of the domestic architecture that’s here.”

This house is long abandoned.
Camera IconThis house is long abandoned. Credit: Albany Advertiser

According to the City of Albany Municipal Heritage Inventory, the 5 Mill Street (16-18 Festing Street) house and the 9 Mill Street house were built in the late Federation period and in the inter-war period respectively.

The inventory states the houses have “aesthetic, historic and representative heritage significance”.

Mr O’Doherty said the City of Albany had floated development ideas several years ago. “None of this has come to pass and in the meantime, these two lovely houses have become refuges for homeless people and the mentally ill,” he said.

“Now the houses are targets for young vandals, who delight in smashing anything they can.

“All we have now is a blot on the landscape and the loss of our architectural heritage.”

The houses have become targets for young vandals.
Camera IconThe houses have become targets for young vandals. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Executive director development services Paul Camins said the City was pursuing development.

“The City has had various conversations with the landowners regarding security, maintenance and development of the old Woollen Mills,” he said.

“We are still pursuing this matter and would welcome a development application for the site.”

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