The development of housing in Perth (1890-1915)

Ian Phillip Kelly

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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[Truncated] This thesis studies the development of housing in Perth, Western
Australia, over a period of twenty five years: from the discovery of the
Eastern Goldfields (1890) through to the First World W a r (1915), a period
historians refer to as the "golden years". The gold-rush in Western
Australia coincided with an economic depression in the eastern states of
Australia and these events generated a ninefold increase in population in
Western Australia. A large percentage of this new population eventually
settled in Perth and thus created a tremendous demand for housing. Up
until the 1890s the design and construction of housing in Perth had
evolved at a different pace and in a different form from housing in other
Australian colonies, but this situation was changed by events over the
following twenty five years. The detached house, built on a spacious
landscaped suburban lot, was firmly established throughout Perth as the
preferred model of housing and has remained the dominant model
throughout the twentieth century.
The thesis is divided into five chronological sections as a means of
focussing on the different rates of economic growth and the different
issues addressed in housing in each of these periods. A number of
recurring issues are studied in each section to determine their degree of
impact on the development of housing in Perth. These issues include; the
expectations and demands of the immigrant population for housing of a
particular type and their ability to pay for it, the availability of accessible
and affordable residential land, the ability of local and state government
to provide the public infrastructure to support the preferred housing, the
effort of government to exercise control over standards of public health
and building construction, the effect of the influx of trained architects
and skilled builders on the standard of housing design and construction,
the availability and cost of various building materials, and, of course, the
planning, details and style of the resultant housing.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
Publication statusUnpublished - 1992

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  • This thesis has been made available in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of a UWA Library project to digitise and make available theses completed before 2003. If you are the author of this thesis and would like it removed from the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, please contact [email protected]


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