Heritage Listing

HERITAGE LISTING

The Church's main temple building and some other parts of the remaining structure & grounds are listed with the City of Vincent on its Municipal Inventory.

The following has been taken from the Municipal Heritage Inventory of the City of Vincent:
http://www.vincentheritage.com.au/inventory.php?id=50&mode=2

Precinct
Forrest

Management
B – Conservation Recommended

Construction Date
1956

Significance
The Progressive Spiritualists Church is a good example of a church constructed in the Postwar Gothic/Austerity style, which is severe and contemplative in character. It demonstrates the diversity of religious expression within the Vincent community.

Physical Style
Postwar Gothic/Austerity

Historic Theme
1947-1972 - What people did together: Religion - Population and settlement:

Physical Description
A simple, brick building with references to a stripped Gothic form in a contemporary idiom, with an unprepossessing entrance porch set in a prominent brick gable. The exterior is in red face brickwork and the steeply pitched roof is in cement tiles. The casement windows are timber framed and detailed with three horizontal panes. The orientation of each window is horizontal. Extensions to the rear constructed in 1964 and 1980 respectively have matching brickwork to the original with concrete flooring and asbestos roofing.

Historic Background
The land on which the subject place stands was originally known as Shearer Street, which connected to Cecil Street and then to Stirling Street. Between 1915 and 1920 Shearer and Cecil streets were aligned with Stirling Street to become one single street. Stirling Street was named after Sir James Stirling (1791-1865), founder of the Swan River Colony and Governor from 1828-1839. It was built as a wide street, running through the centre of the newly designed township of Perth, with the intention of it being a main boulevard, running north-south. Subsequent development plus the construction of the railway and the placement of the two bridges erected on William and Beaufort streets were some of the reasons it did not gain the importance originally intended. The land in this section of Stirling Street was subdivided in 1866 as suburban lots of around 10 acres each. This section north of Brisbane Street was known as the 'Stirling Street Extension'. Most of the land was gradually subdivided into smaller residential lots in the 1880s and 1890s but No. 388 was shown as an empty block on the circa 1897 PWD City of Perth & Suburbs sewerage plans. The Stirling Street Extension was listed in the 1920 edition of Wise's Post Office Directories but the northernmost number given was No. 384 and the same in 1930. In 1949 the last number was 386, which was occupied by Mrs J.K. Lewis and across the road at No. 375 was Christian Bros' High School, a private school run by the Roman Catholic brothers since 1936. (In 2008 this housed St Mark's International School.) Spiritualism, the belief in the existence of the human personality after death, was an important concept in 19th Century Melbourne's intellectual circles. The Victorian Association of Progressive Spiritualists, the first of its kind, was formed there in 1870. The Progressive Spiritualists Church was established in 1934. The Highgate area was home to many of the migrant families and refugees who flocked to Western Australia in the post World War II period. Its attraction was cheap housing as the area had become run down. It became popular again as a residential area in the 1980s (particularly for young singles and married couples) because of its proximity to the CBD, the nightlife of Northbridge, the developing coffee and restaurant strip in nearby Beaufort Street and for those who worked in the City but did not want a long commute or to spend their weekends tending to a quarter-acre block. The Progressive Spiritualist Church in Stirling Street was constructed in 1956 on previously vacant ground by builder A.H. Hitch & Co. It is one of a number of church buildings constructed in the area by different religious groups. In 1964 additions and alterations were made to the church, including a kitchen at the rear, which was constructed by the Groom Bros. There were additions in 1979 and a further room was added to the rear in 1980, which was undertaken by builder Noterangelo & Sons. Approval was given for a patio addition in 1999 and a Conservation Plan was undertaken by Philip Griffiths Architects in 2007. Conservation and general refurbishment works followed. In 2008 the property was still owned and used by the Progressive Spiritualists Church Incorporated.
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Progessive Spiritualists Church (Inc.)
The oldest continually running spiritualists church in Perth, Western Australia.