Originally an arcade, then a roadway connecting Murray Street to Perth Railway Station, Forrest Place has undergone several major changes throughout the 20th Century. With a third redevelopment now on the way, here's a look into the history one of Perth's premiere pedestrian spaces.
Described at the time as "evidence of how an eyesore can be changed into a beauty spot", the Central Hotel, on Wellington street, marveled guests upon opening, and was a popular venue for visitors to the city in the early 20th century. Converted in 1901 from a Miner's Arms hostel, the Central hotel featured "a large and beautifully fitted" threepenny bar, saloon bar, billiard room, first-class dining room, and sitting room, as well as hot and cold water and electric lighting. State of the art at the time. It ceased trading as the Central Hotel on June 30th, 1953. The building itself was demolished in 1988 during the redevelopment of Forrest Place to make way for the construction of Albert Facey House, named after Gallipoli veteran Albert Barnett Facey. Pictured here the Central Hotel stands across from the Padbury Buildings, at the entrance to Forrest Place in 1930. (Supplied: State Library of Western Australia)
The Padbury Buildings, named for their owner William Padbury, were constructed between 1924-1925 at the eastern side of the entrance to Forrest Place. Padbury was given a 50 year lease on the land in 1923 and put forward plans for a grand, five-storey shopping centre that would stretch the entire length between Murray and Wellington streets that would not only bring a new place for residents to shop, but would block the publics view of the Boans Building, which was considered ugly and out-of-date even in 1923. These designs did not come to full fruition as only two of the five planned stories were ever constructed. The Padbury Buildings remained in use as a shopping mall for 62 years until they were closed and demolished 1987 in preparation for the planned Forrest Chase shopping complex, which now stands in their place. Pictured here in 1929, the Padbury Buildings with the Boans Building clearly visible to the east. (Supplied: State Library of Western Australia)