Dumas House – Western Australia government office block built in the 1960’s on the site of Perth’s first Government Observatory, currently being renovated so lots of scaffolding on one side. It sits at the top of Mount Eliza overlooking the city and consequently was cold and windy when we were sketching !
Above is one of the entrances to the remaining building built in 1896- Old Perth Observatory – Government Astronomer’s Residence (currently the home of the National Trust of Western Australia). Red brick with ornate plaster work and a rounded roof section on one side. The Government Astronomer had 2 important roles in addition to star gazing and weather forecasting……aiding with time keeping for the early Perth settlement – sundials were generally used to mark time but could be inaccurate by over 20 minutes. Therefor the Government Astronomer fired a cannon at exactly 1.00 pm everyday so that people could set their watches and clocks. Also having prime position over the city mean that he kept an eye out for bush fires which being so close to Kings Park were fairly frequent.