The land where Forrest Chase resides is recognised as Wadjuk Boodjar (Wadjuk Country).
Forrest Chase has been a retail icon in Perth for over 30 years, but the landmark dates back over 120 years to the heady days of the Boans retail store.
Boans Emporium, founded on November 7, 1895, was the first permanent structure to reside where Forrest Chase now stands. It was built by brothers Benjamin and Harry Boan, and the opening was so successful that by then end of the first day’s trading the store was virtually sold out! Boans Bros was a successful department store, destined to become the single largest private employer in Western Australia. A landmark and City icon over most of the 20th century, Boans survived a fire in 1979 and endured for another seven years before being transformed into the City’s new Myer department store, which still remains an integral part of Forrest Chase today.
In 1923, the GPO building facing Boans was finally completed after two decades of planning and construction. Central Arcade, a large, ramshackle building standing between Boans and the new GPO building was demolished to make way for Forrest Place, named after the first Premier of WA, Sir John Forrest.
Recent upgrades to Forrest Place have re-established the space as a prominent and important landmark within Perth City. Forrest Place is a common meeting place and event hub for art and music displays, concerts, fashion parades, school holiday activities, as well as the popular Friday Twilight Hawkers Market and Home Grown weekend markets.
Today, we’re ensuring the legacy of Forrest Chase remains a popular destination and meeting place, filled with more exciting memories across many generations. No matter when you visit the Chase, we invite you to Expect More.
The Padbury Buildings were built in 1924 by William Padbury. These low-set buildings ran the full length of Forrest Place between Wellington and Murray Streets, adjacent to the Boans Bros store and the newly-constructed Forrest Place. In 1990, the buildings and contribution of Walter Padbury were commemorated in a brass plaque on Padbury Walk between Forrest Chase and Carillon City. The plaque reads:
“The Walk Is Named In Memory of Walter Padbury 1817 – 1907. Walter Padbury was orphaned in 1830 in the new colony of Western Australia. At the age of 12 he was left penniless and homeless. He achieved a unique greatness from the southern west to the northern Pilbara. No one opened up more land than he for agriculture and grazing. He was a major importer and exporter, the State’s first millionaire, a champion of the poor, and a great philanthropist.”
The plaque has since been removed and returned to the City of Perth.