Brief History of the City of PerthPerth, the capital city of Western Australia, was officially founded on the 12th
of August, 1829, by Lieutenant Governor James Stirling on King George IV's 67th birthday and was later
proclaimed a city in 1856.
Prior to settlement Aboriginal tribes were custodians of the land. The first known Europeans to
have explored the Perth area prior to settlement were firstly the Dutch in 1697 lead by Willem de Vlamingh and then
over a hundred years later by the French in 1801, lead by Nicolas Baudin.
In 1829, soon after Captain Stirling and the first settlers landed in the new colony, John Septimus
Roe (Surveyor General) laid out the first initial plans for Perth. He envisaged St George's Terrace as being the main street of the colony, being idyllic located near the Swan
River foreshore. The street would in time feature some of the city's grandest commercial buildings. Many of the
important settlers also laid claim to the street and built their residences along the terrace including John
Septimus Roe. Click here for more History of Perth.
Things You May Not Know About PerthOriginally Perth was to be established at Cockburn Sound or alternatively
Point Heathcote, however, Lieutenant Governor Stirling, disobeyed the advise.
Engineer-in-Chief, C.Y.O'Connor , had his office in the Barracks Arch looking down St George's Terrace. It was from the office above the arch where much
of his planning for the Goldfields Pipeline was carried out.
The Swan River's shoreline was originally located on The Esplanade. All the land (which is now mostly
parkland) was reclaimed.
On the corner wall of the Treasury building along St Georges Terrace is a plaque and "zero" marker indicating the location where all Perth distances
are measured from. The location was originally Perth's General Post Office.
Rumour has it that when St George's terrace was extended to Adelaide Terrace, it was directly in
the path of John Septimus Roe's house and one of his prized trees. Being the Surveyor General at the time, he
simply made amendments to the plans, hence the small kink in the road near Victoria Avenue.
The Swan River was named after the native black swans.
The City of Perth is divided into five precincts: The Central Business District (CBD), Riverside,
West Perth, East Perth and Northbridge.
The City of Perth is the most isolated Capital City in the World.
His Majesty's Theatre is the only Edwardian Theatre still existing in Australia and was the first
building in Australia to constructed of concrete and steel. The theatre featured a dome roof which was designed
to slide open to reveal the night sky.
Things Are Looking Up In Perth When the City of Perth was first settled there was nothing more than
tents for the settlers to live in, however it wasn't long before construction of buildings and houses began.
Until the 1880's Perth's town centre consisted mainly of small cottages, shops and small businesses. In fact
the town centre of Perth had a rural atmosphere. It was really due to the discovery of gold in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie in the 1890's, that Perth began to expand in business & commerce. This put
pressure on land in the town centre as more entrepreneurs began seeking commercial development properties.
The result was most residential properties were pushed out of the central city area to make way for
commercial development. During the 1890's to the early 1900's the centre of Perth was practically rebuilt.
While Western Australia was experiencing the gold boom other States of Australia were experiencing a
depression. Many people including architects and businessmen from the Eastern States (especially Victoria)
migrated to Western Australia seeking work. They had a great influence in the establishment of Perth.
Today the streets of the CBD have a unique mix of both old and new architecture. Interesting
architectural areas of note can be found along, St
Georges Terrace , Hay Street, Hay Street Mall , King Street, Murray Street, Murray Street Mall, Barrack Street, Victoria Square, Wellington Street, the Esplanade and Beaufort Street.
Public Art of PerthSometimes hidden, sometimes right under your nose, the statues and
sculptures of Perth add a certain drama to the cityscape. If you would like to know more about the sculptures and
statues just click here Public Art of Perth
Sister Cities of PerthThe Sister City movement was established shortly after World War II as
a way of developing communication and relationships between cities around the world. Australia adopted the concept
during the 1930's when the Shire of Parkes in New South Wales affiliated with Coventry in England to become sister
cities. The main theme of the sister city program is "International Understanding and Friendship". Perth has eight
Sister City agreements with Kagoshima, Japan (1974), Houston, Texas (1984), Rhodes, Greece (1984), Megisti, Greece
(1984), San Diego, California (1987), Vasto, Italy (1989), Nanjing, China (1998) and Taipei, Taiwan (1999).
For more information visit the Australian Sister City website.
Important Links to Perth
City of Perth
The West Australian Newspaper Online