Suite had bird s eye view of history
George Sheldon on the balcony of the penthouse suite. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

For 50 years, the Sheldon family have had a front-row seat to the changing face of Perth.

Eleven floors up in the penthouse suite of the West Perth apartment building known as Melford Court, they have seen what was once the tallest building on the CBD skyline be dwarfed by its neighbours, watched the first central leg of the Mitchell Freeway built and witnessed the city swell as its population quadrupled.

When the Mount Street building was built in 1961 it was only the second in the State to offer apartments for sale, rather than rent.

George Sheldon's father Robert, a Viennese architect with Krantz & Sheldon, designed the building and bought the Melford Court penthouse with his wife and son in mind.

"There were none of these buildings here when we moved in - this was the tallest thing around," Mr Sheldon said.

"Some people are bad with heights. It took me a week to get used to it."

Where once Melford Court towered above its surroundings, it now has company from upmarket apartment blocks that offer some of the city's most spectacular views.

The apartment has never been out of Sheldon hands or rented out, housing various family members over the years.

But this small piece of Perth history is poised to change hands, with Mr Sheldon and his wife Elizabeth putting the apartment up for sale at the weekend.

The moment was bittersweet.

"It's bad to be sentimental about your property," Mr Sheldon said.

"The fact is it's time for someone else to be living here, to enjoy it.

"You have to be logical.

"Renting is not really a proposition: I wouldn't want to see it destroyed or become unloved."

The West Australian

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