IT is a building familiar to generations of labradors, Jack Russells and spaniels — and their owners.
Set among prime Swansea dog-walking territory, Swiss Cottage has certainly seen better days in its 187-year history.
Wrecked by arsonists in 2010, the building has since cut rather a jaded sight in Singleton Park.
But that is set to change.
Swansea Council said work to rebuild it will start by the end of May and should be finished by the end of the summer. The grade two listed building is in line for a new front, side and pitched roof.
Council chiefs are considering whether a business or community venture could open up there once the restoration is complete.
Pamela Morgan, secretary of Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex, said Swiss Cottage needed to be a viable building not an empty shell.
“If they make good use if it — like a meeting centre or cafe — that would preserve it better,” she said.
“An empty shell is vulnerable.”
She said she was extremely glad restoration work was happening.
“It has got oodles of history and it should be preserved,” she said.
The authority has been given a conditional go-ahead for the work by Cadw — the Welsh Government’s historic environment body. Planning permission is in place, and the scheme will be funded by the council and its insurers.
The September 2010 fire was followed by another arson attack in Singleton Park a month later. It damaged the 19th century Veranda House, used by Swansea’s parks department. In March last year firebugs struck again, gutting the kiosk next to Swiss Cottage. Thankfully, the park has seen quieter days since.
Councillor Rob Stewart, Swansea’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The mindless attack at the Swiss Cottage has already deprived Singleton Park visitors of one of Swansea’s most loved buildings for more than two years.
“We’ve been working on planning a scheme to reinstate the building back to its original condition for some time but, due to the Swiss Cottage’s listed building status within a conversation area, we also needed Cadw’s approval.
“This has now been received as long as we meet certain conditions that take into account the building’s heritage. Reinstatement works at the Swiss Cottage will start early summer and we’re considering options for a business or community venture there.”
Alice Davies, 35, who works at Swansea University’s Singleton Park campus said: “It’s great work will finally get under way — Singleton Park is so lovely and it was a great shame that Swiss Cottage was ruined by fire.”