Harold Boas Gardens
Harold Boas (1883-1980) was a prominent Perth architect, born and raised in Adelaide. He was indentured to architect Edward Davies and studied at the South Australian Institute of Mines and Industries, becoming a member of the SA Institute of Architects.
Boas moved to Perth in 1905 and worked with several architects including Charles Oldham. Following Oldham’s death in 1920, the executors of the estate requested Boas continue the matters of the architectural practice which included use of the Oldham name in his practice – Oldham & Boas. Colin Ednie-Brown had been indentured to Oldham and then Boas and in 1923, Oldham, Boas & Ednie-Brown was established.
As an architect, Boas and his partners were responsible for many commercial, church and private buildings including the Nedlands Park Hotel, the Emu Brewery on Mounts Bay Road and the Gledden Building.
Boas was active in professional, political and civic circles.
He was a Perth City Councillor in 1914-16, 1926-42 and 1944 and chaired the City’s town planning committee from 1930-33 and 1938-42. Boas was a key player in the development of WA’s Town Planning Act (1928) – the first in Australia.
Colonial Secretary Col R T Goldsworthy named a number of streets and parks in commemoration of the suppression of the Indian Mutiny and the subsequent crowning of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. Delhi Square, the 5 acre Perth Town Lot V157 bounded by Colin, Delhi, Havelock and Wellington Streets was one of these.
The period 1898-1900, in the wake of the Western Australian gold boom, has been described as ‘The Golden Age of Parks’ in Perth in which most of the early parks and gardens under the responsibility of the City of Perth were laid out and developed. These included Hyde Park, Queen’s Gardens, present day Florence Hummerston Reserve, Wellington, Russell and Weld squares, and Harold Boas Gardens. Developed as Delhi Square from 1897-98, it was laid out in similar style to Russell Square.
There was little change to the layout of the park until the 1970s when the gardens at Delhi Square underwent a major redevelopment in the Paradise Gardens style. The park was reopened to the public in 1976 and renamed in honour of the former Perth City Councillor, architect and town planner, Harold Boas.
Babett Fekete Photography.