Everyone’s seen it when driving along Mill Point Road…And everyone may or may not know that it’s standing proof of the early establishment and development of South Perth.
This building was constructed c. 1900 by Frederick Stidworthy – a skilled South Perth builder, contractor and stone mason. Stidworthy’s stone masonry skills can be seen at the Perth Zoo, in particular the cave-like bear pits. Stidworthy also built the South Perth Road Board office in 1904, now know as Heritage House Cultural Centre (corner Mill Point Road and Mends Street).
Lucy, Frederick’s wife, ran tea rooms from the lower-ground of the building between 1902-1918. This was a great location to run tea rooms from as the entrance to the Perth Zoological Gardens was just on the opposite side of Suburban Road (renamed Mill Point Road in 1947; the Zoo entrance eventually moved to Labouchere Road). So one can imagine that Lucy got a fair bit of patronage from those who travelled over to visit the Zoo for the day!
It’s interesting that there is still the connection of food, beverage, socialisation and business with the building today, just as it was back in the early 1900’s. By the way, Sopranos have some delicious food and the front-of-house staff are lovely! I wonder what the typical food experience was like when Lucy was running the show…It’s a shame that we don’t have any photographs in our collection of the building during this period of its operation!
Stay tuned for more building profiles!