Museum of Perth chair Reece Harley is looking for volunteers to help with a gardening and restoration project for two Federation-era cottages on Sayer Street. Picture: Gera Kazakov

Help sought for Midland cottage restoration project

The long-term project seeks to preserve the Sayer Street cottages alongside establishing volunteer-run gardens at the premises.
November 23, 2023
Gera Kazakov

THE community is being called on to help restore two Federation-era cottages in the heart of Midland, as part of project run by the Museum of Perth and the City of Swan.

Located on Sayer Street in Midland, the two cottages were built in 1908, and as part of the project the Museum of Perth is seeking a live-in caretaker for one property and volunteers to help set up a vegetable garden at the other.

Museum of Perth chair Reece Harley said that it was a long-term project which sought to preserve the cottages alongside helping to train people in gardening, with many already interested in helping.

An online post seeking expressions of interest for the live in caretaker at the Sayer Street cottages resulted in 150 inquiries for the role, according to Mr Harley, who also said the post received more than 400,000 views as well.

“We’ve had new immigrants, we’ve had a couple from Spain, we’ve got locals from around the Midland area, we’ve got people from interstate even, who’ve contacted us wanting this opportunity,” he said.

“It’s really been wonderful to see – it’s just been so many applications, I’m not really sure what to do now – it’s hard to whittle down such a large list down to a smaller group.

“So, that’s obviously very encouraging, it means there’s a lot of interest in this idea.”

The Museum of Perth is a not-for-profit initiative run by the Perth History Association, with the initiative now eight years old.

Mr Harley said the Museum of Perth has run another garden in Leda, within Kwinana, and others in Gosnells with the organisation also completing research work in Fremantle, Bunbury, and Bassendean.

“We were looking across at Midland and saw a lot of the redevelopment of the oval and saw some of the heritage properties around it and had a conversation with the City of Swan, about a year ago now, to see if there might be an opportunity to retain and restore these two little workers cottages on Sayer Street,” he said.

City of Swan Mayor Tanya Richardson said the city was proud to be a part of the project.

“The city is committed to preserving our rich heritage for generations to come. Projects like this demonstrate an appreciation for both the history and future of Midland,” she said.

Mr Hartley said that asbestos from the buildings has been removed. He said anyone who wants to be involved should email

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