West Australian Rowing Club, Perth (1905)
The home of the first established rowing club in Western Australia, the WA Rowing Club boatshed has been in continuous use since its construction in 1905.
Despite being condemned in the 1960s and again in the 1990s, the two-storey piled timber boatshed has been kept alive by club members and other volunteers. It was included in the State Register of Heritage Places in 2001. It is the only surviving building from the early 1900s on the Perth Swan River foreshore.
Today, the building remains in use by the WA Rowing Club and also hosts school rowing lessons, serves as a start point for swimming races and triathlons, is home to a café, and is a sought after venue for hire due to its prime location on the Swan River.
Unfortunately, the original launch deck structure at the rear of the building naturally aged over time, and despite previous efforts to refurbish and save the structure, the wooden deck became hazardous. While laughs have been had at some of the slips and falls that occurred on the deck, there were also some serious injuries, requiring the club to repair or replace the deck in order to survive.
With limited funding for such a major project, the club was not able to fully cover the cost of replacing the deck. However, the club was successful in obtaining a heritage grant of $57,828 in 2014 to assist with upgrading the aged launch deck and replacing the deteriorated piling. Now completed, the project has ensured the building remains in use as a rowing club, continuing to safely serve WA’s rowing community for many years to come.
The WA Rowing Club was the venue for the announcement by the Heritage Minister Albert Jacob MLA of the successful recipients of the 2014-15 Heritage Grants Program.