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Conservation of Perth streets wins international UNESCO Award

Nov 03, 2017
Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct exterior view of house• State heritage-listed Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct wins UNESCO Asia Pacific Awards for Heritage Conservation
• The only Australian project to be honoured in 2017 awards 

The restoration of century-old cottages within two historic adjacent Perth streets has won a prestigious UNESCO conservation award - the only Australian project to be honoured in 2017. 

The Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct won the Award of Distinction in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The precinct consists of 58 semi-detached workers’ cottages, built as a residential estate for working class families between 1897 and 1898. The precinct was included in the State Register of Heritage Places in 2006.

The UNESCO Asia‐Pacific Awards recognise the efforts of private individuals and organisations, which have successfully restored and conserved significant heritage structures.

The UNESCO judges said the Brookman-Moir project had revitalised the streetscape and returned a sense of community to the area. 

“The revival of the Brookman-Moir precinct underscored the importance of recognising and safeguarding everyday urban fabric as part of a holistic strategy in sustaining historic urban landscapes,” UNESCO said.

The precinct was shortlisted for nomination to the 2017 UNESCO Awards following its win at the 2016 WA Heritage Awards.  It is the sixth Western Australian heritage project in six years to be honoured by UNESCO since a relationship was forged with the Heritage Council to endorse WA Heritage Award-winning projects to these prestigious awards.

Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:

“The precinct shared this prestigious award with Shanghai’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, which illustrates the calibre of projects honoured.

“This is a tremendous story of a group of owners who have inspired each other to restore and adapt their homes for contemporary living while revitalising the streetscape.  This was no mean task as many homes were in a poor condition due to being built on swamp land.

“The judges also praised the assistance of conservation practitioners, the City of Vincent and the Heritage Council for their advice, technical assistance and financial support to the owners.

“The Heritage Council contributed more than $700,000 to the conservation of these homes through the Heritage Grants Program, showing the value of this program.”

Read more about the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct and view the picture gallery

UNESCO Judge's citation: 
The restoration of late 19th-century workers’ cottages along Brookman and Moir Streets has thoughtfully revived a modest but historically significant housing district dating back to the Western Australian gold boom. Individual homeowners undertook the loving refurbishment of the simple Federation Queen Anne semi-detached dwellings which had suffered from years of unsympathetic change and dilapidation. With financial support from the City of Vincent and the local Heritage Council and technical guidance from conservation professionals, the original architectural character and material palette of each red brick building was carefully recovered. Catalysed by the renovation of a single house which then inspired other nearby residents, the project has revitalized the streetscape and returned a sense of community to the area. The revival of the Brookman-Moir precinct underscores the importance of recognizing and safeguarding everyday urban fabric as part of a holistic strategy in sustaining historic urban landscapes.

Read more about the other UNESCO winners

The 2018 Western Australian Heritage Awards are open until 8 December 2017. Enter the Awards here
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