Friday, 10 February 2012

Some of my favourite mini Freo monuments

I was reading a post about mini monuments in Paris on one of my favourite blogs the other day. The author argued that not all monuments have to be monumental and then listed some of her favourite Parisian mini monuments.

The idea got me thinking about Freo's mini monuments - those interesting little things that wouldn't appear on a postcard, but are nonetheless special in some way, and collectively give Freo so much of its character.

So with that in mind, here's the first installment of my favourite Freo mini monuments.

Elizabeth's Chalkboards

There was a receptionist at a place I once worked who would put a smart-arse quote at the bottom of the daily absentee email. Given that I was at the time employed in the kind of mind-numbing job where any distraction from actual work, including minor physical injury, was not only welcomed but actively pursued, my colleagues and I soon became aficionados of cheesy quotes and would trawl the web for additions to our collection.

Since I'm now more gainfully employed and no longer in need of diversion at work (plus HR monitors our web access), Elizabeth's chalkboards and their funny quotes are a fond reminder of days gone by.

Elizabeth's chalkboard on High Street mall
The Blue Door

There's something Narnia-like about this blue door on Henry Street - it's impossible that it hides anything so mundane as an office behind its weathered turquoise panels.

My nephew and I enjoy speculating on where it might lead us if we ever found it open... a smuggler's den in a Cornish fishing village, with gas-lamps and chests of treasure; a shop in Istanbul selling magic carpets and bottles that might have genies inside; a Parisian pastry shop where the bakers wear berets and make the best cakes in the world?

There's a sticker on the letter-slot that says Moore & Moore. Maybe that's the secret to their special coffee beans?

Blue Door on Henry Street
The Blue Door
The Scuba Diver

I like the way tourists stop and have their photo taken with this guy. There's a lot to be said for placing statues at a height where people can interact with them. Another excuse for them to linger longer and enjoy themselves. 

Scuba Diver at the Dive shop on the corner of Market Street and Cantonment Street
Watch out for more of my favourite mini Freo monuments. Here is the link to the Paris blog:


  1. Those mini monuments is what makes a place, I believe, Michael. It is not about big buildings or stunning architecture, although that can be great as well, but it is those quirky and quite beautiful things. I love that door in Henry Street and the diver, the chalk board quotes at both Elizabeth book stores, and a few more.

    Maybe we should do a photography collection on Freo's small monuments.

    Roel Loopers

  2. I have long idolised the yellow-rendered, blue-doored, lamp-posted building on Henry Street. There was a time in my life where I promised myself that one day, I would live there. The universe does try to deliver --- One day a few years ago I found the door open, and a good-looking older bloke was busy moving things in and out of the lower level. I thought, It's now or never! So I approached him and asked what the deal was. He owned the place, which was disused at the time (top level was being used, as I recall?), and was getting it sorted out (cleaned, plumbing fixed etc), before deciding what to do with it. He wasn't sure if it would end up being leased as office space or for residential use. We exchanged numbers, should he choose the latter option, as I told him I was very interested in living there. I asked for a look inside. It was amazing in there. Dark and low-ceilinged and rather primitive and undoubtedly haunted!! Incredible place, with an amazing vibe, but in it's current form, I decided I would not live there. Though I remain hopeful that one day, renovations pending and assuming use of upper level is included in the deal, my old dream may come true!

  3. Thanks Michael!
    I forgot about the mini monuments :)