Once the highest building in Johannesburg
Johannesburg was never a one horse town. The miners’ tents and tin shacks soon gave way to brick buildings. The first one was the gaol and it fell down. But within three years there were three storey buildings and the Gezondheitskomittee had appointed a building inspector.
The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation has grown from the Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust which was founded at a time when the bulldozers were knocking down houses by the dozen in Parktown for the hospital, for the park, for the College of Education and eventually for the office blocks. Legislation changed and most heritage houses are protected now in Parktown and Westcliff. We have been widening our scope over the last 28 years and finally taken the plunge and changed our name to correctly reflect the work we do.
The City of Johannesburg has grown immensely and the task is huge, but there is a need for a proactive organisation ready to do battle and defend our City’s heritage. There is also a need to recognise that adaptive re-use is essential. We can’t hang on to every old building in this dynamic metropolis. Sometimes it will be Adapt or Die, but there are some places which are such treasures that it will be Beware! Treat it with the utmost care.
Michael Walker's books - S A Architecture
The three books may be ordered direct from Michael Walker - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +27 21 7881927. The price of the books via direct orders varies from R120 to R150 plus postage. When you order your copy from Michael do ask him to sign your books.
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A letter from Germany.
Post these days is a surprise in itself and a letter about a very special old building in Hillbrow is a joy.
Roger Lecucq who attended the “new” Deutsche Schule in Parktown, has sent pictures of the first Deutsche Schule dating back to 1891. Do enjoy them. Very romantic Bavarian- style architecture with masses of details and ornamentation. What a treasure it would be if we still had it today, but sadly it was demolished to make way for a tall office building north of the Friedenskirche bounded by Edith Cavell Street, Kaptein and Twist Streets. This was the office block we visited on our recent tour of Hillbrow where we were taken inside to see the Andre Huguenet Theatre.
So if anyone can contribute information on the delightful old building and even more photographs and memories we would love to have them. The German community was very strong in Hillbrow with Café’s and Sausage stalls predominant in my memory but there was also a beerhall and dedicated young women who would report on police brutality during the apartheid era. In fact young German tourists still ask about Hillbrow so it must live on in the memories of their parents.
So keep the conversation flowing. Who was the Architect? Where are the old building plans.
PS We continue with the special architecterural legacy project which involves listing and cataloguing the drawings in the Museum Africa collection. They were being held safely, but without being catalogued they have been completely inaccessible. We’ll be publishing the lists for Parktown and Township Johannesburg very soon. It is a major contribution from us with the assistance of GLH Architects and NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT WHATEVER from the City of Johannesburg. The City cares not one jot for its great asset Museum Africa. SHAME ON THE DEPARTMENT OF ARTS CULTURE AND HERITAGE AND THE MMC.
More news about what we have found already in the next newsletter..
GREAT NEWS ON THE RAND STEAM LAUNDRIES SITE!!!
The Planning Committee of the City of Johannesburg has approved the rezoning of the site inclduing the requirement to rebuild the laundry buildings along Napier Road and to commemorate the Amawasha site.
VICTORY AT LAST FOR JOHANNESBURG’S HERITAGE.
So now we’ll be working with Imeorial to ensure the reconstruction of the buildings is as accurate and authentic as can be managed, bearing in mind that the laundries stopped operating in 1970 so there was another 40 years in which changes took place.
Member's Tour - 18 to 20 October 2013
See Events Page
Members' Tour to Kimberely
FOURTH QUARTER'S PROGRAMME
1st Quarter Programme Jan to Mar 2014 - click to download word document else view it on-line under the Events section. Click to view the Newsletter.
Great step Forward: Handing over the assessments and data base for the heritage buildings in the Joburg City Centre.
GRADING THE BUILDINGS OF THE JOHANNESBURG CITY CENTRE
The first task the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation undertook after its establishment was to assess the buildings in the centre of town and publish these on our websites and, hopefully, also on the City of Johannesburg’s website.
Listing is the duty of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng (PHRA-G) but since they have shown no sign of doing this we have taken over the task. The City commissioned a number of excellent surveys on the City Centre, but they were never taken to next stage of assigning a value judgment on whether the buildings should be protected or not. We have used these reports by Dr Johann Bruwer as the basis for our assessment.
The ratings laid down in the National Heritage Resources Act are:
- Grade I National significance
- Grade II Provincial Significance
- Grade III Local significance
To distinguish the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation’s assessment from the official ones Grades A, B and C have been used instead of numbers..
A = Outstanding heritage value – historical and architectural value such as the City Hall which is now the Gauteng Legislature. This could also be one of truly exceptional buildings like Patidar Mansions. DON’T TOUCH OUR TREASURES
B = Fine building. Beautiful and probably a good example of a period or the work of an excellent architect, with historical interest. It may also have landmark value such as Stuttafords TOUCH WITH VERY GREAT CARE, AFTER CONSULTATION, AND DON’T EVEN THINK OF DEMOLITION
C= Good building, part of a significant group and probably contributes to street scene, but possibly only a façade. DON’T TOUCH WITHOUT CONSULTING JHF. CHANGES ARE POSSIBLE, BUT DEMOLITION WILL BE RESISTED.
So click to get to the listings. Search under street address or stand number and township. The entries cover names or names of building, architect, date, original owner, SG numbers and geographical co-ordinates. They also have additional information as to other forms of recognition – blue plaque or listing for the Johannesburg Centenary in the Johannesburg 100 and occasionally listing or declaration by the heritage authority.
Issued September 2013
HERITAGE TODAY! - A programme for all those who care about out old buildings. They can now listen to the podcasts by clicking on the link.
Tuesday mornings at 10h45 Stay tuned.
Johannesburg Coat of Arms
The small jam pot in our letterhead is not without meaning or to bring sweetness into your life.
It is the stamp which appears on the earliest Johannesburg Coat of Arms - the actual foot of the crusher which pounds the rock . There were different size stamps 6 pounders or 10 pounders.... the noise was simply unholy but the crushed rock went through the process and became golden sand on the mine dumps.
These tiny stamps are used on the escutcheon plates of the old City Hall and a stylized version is used to number the routes through the city.
So this is a tiny bit of Johannesburg we chose to decorate our logo.
LOOKING AHEAD: SPECIAL PROJECTS
Did you know that:
- BUILDINGS OVER 6O YEARS REQUIRE A PERMIT FROM THE PHRAG FOR ANY ALTERATION OR DEMOLITION
- REZONINGS WHICH INVOLVE AMTERATIONS TO OR DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS OVER 60 YEARS SHOULD HAVE A PERMIT FROM THE PHRAG
- REZONINGS INVOVING LAND OF MORE THAN 5000 SQUARE METRES REQUIRES A HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT
To help you in this process we have compiled a liust of architect for whose work in the heritage field we can vouch.
Click here to find our list of recommended architects to assist with Heritage Work.
“A city without a past is like a man without a memory” warned Professor E.W. Mallows
We need our old buildings to remind us of our roots and to measure our progress.
Contact us on: 011-482-3349 Weekdays (Mornings only)
e-mail : email@example.com
"We have made a start ...!"
Introduction to Listings and Assessments
FRIENDS, CORPORATE MEMBERS AND SPONSORS
The Northwards Trust
Set up to retain the historic architectural heritage of Johannesburg Foundation Trust. The Trust tries to make this heritage accessible through tours of the buildings and the area, publications and special programmes for school children.
It is a fund-raising organisation and donations are most welcome.
Last Edit : 03/03/2014