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Plaques

 

There are three main sections to the plaques, namely:

Joburg Heritage Plaques and

Parktown Plaques and

Anglo Boer War Plaques and

Art Deco Plaques

Westcliff Plaques and

Struggle Heroes and

Click here to read more about the 16 Plaques installed in Alexandra

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Transvaal Chinese United Club

A walkabout round First Chinatown was followed by an excellent lunch at the Swallows Inn  which so many of us remember as the Little swallow, one of the oldest restaurants in the City.

Unveiling the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation plaque at the Transvaal Chinese United Club 6 Commissioner on Saturday 23rd  February 2013.
Club chairman Mr. K. H. Lai recounts the history of the Club which dates back to 1909 and which held the pioneering Chinese community of the Johannesburg together throughout the years of second class citizenship, humiliating and costly registration  and yet managed to raise funds for charity and community facilities.

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Freedom Day Function In Fietas

On Freedom Day Justice Kriegler was our honoured guest speaking of the first election day in 1944 when he chaired the Independent Electoral Commission. He and Adam Asvat unveiled the plaque together.

 

Joburg Heritage Foundation Freedom Day Function
Joburg Heritage Foundation Freedom Day Function
Joburg Heritage Foundation
Joburg Heritage Foundation Freedom Day Function

Joburg Heritage Foundation Freedom Day Function

 

 

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Joburg Heritage Plaques

Image Location Description & Location
   

AITON COURT

Aiton Court is an internationally recognised example of the Transvaal Group’s modernist approach using simple, readily available and inexpensive materials.  Designed by Angus Stewart and Bernard Cooke in 1938, it included an entrance foyer and courtyard above the street.  In the 1980’s it was one of the first buildings to break apartheid laws by  welcoming black residents, and housed ACTSTOP which championed  the rights of tenants.   

Restored in 2014 by Trafalgar Property Management
 

Doornfontein
Battle of Ellis Park
Bertrams Road

BATTLE OF ELLIS PARK

During the 1922 Strike known as the Rand Rebellion or Red Revolt, escalating conflict between miners and mine owners caused Prime Minister Smuts to declare Martial Law. On Saturday, March  11th at 13:30, the Imperial Light Horse Regiment was attacked at their depot on a football field at Ellis Park by the Jeppe and Troyeville Commandoes under the command of Captain Hall MC.  No pickets had been placed and the soldiers were busy getting lunch when the strikers fired on them from the hedges and houses overlooking the field. Within minutes the field was strewn with dead and wounded. The strikers had very few rifles so were unable to exploit a victory achieved through surprise, courage and hand guns. They had organized their own Red Cross vehicles to remove their wounded to the Kensington Sanatorium.

 

Bezuidenhout Farmhouse
Bezuidenhout Park

BEZUIDENHOUT FARMHOUSE

Built by Voortrekker Barend Viljoen and his wife Judith in 1852 as a simple rectangle, the house became the property of their son-in-law Frederik Jacobus Bezuidenhout, in 1863. The bay window was added in the 1890s, and a north wing in 1910. His son lived here until he sold the farmstead to the City for a park in 1949.  During the Anglo-Boer War, the British used the farmstead with its grazing as a remount camp at which horses were acclimatised.

Bosman Site

 

BOSMAN

Site Installation 12 December 2011

Bosman Site

 

16 - Torwood Road, Forest Town

BYEWAYS

12 by Baker and Fleming for Robert Alfred Lehfeldt, Professor of Natural Philosophy and Physics at the South African School of Mines. Lehfeldt came to Johannesburg in 1906 to take up the appointment and remained at that institution as Professor of Economics, Economic History and Statistics when it became the University of the Witwatersrand.

Corner of Clarendon and Twist Street, Hillbrow

CIRCLE COURT

Designed by the brothers Louis Theodore Obel andMark Obel in 1936, both architects who favoured Art Deco design, Circle Court is an impressive building, carefully adapted to its non-symmetrical site, once towering over the intersection from which its name derives. Clarendon Circle was a famous landmark – a large traffic circle surrounding an island of grass and palms - replaced by traffic lights in 1959. LT Obel
lived in the building and died here in 1956.

  Commissioner Street

CHINESE CLUB

Transvaal Chinese United Club.
Established in 1909 by the small pioneering Chinese community, the club offered rooms for newcomers as well as social amenities in an old miners’ club. Funds were raised to uplift the local community. It continued financially successful, building in 1940 a block of flats on the adjoining stand which is one of the City’s architectural gems.  

Christ

Ray Street Sophiatown

 

CHRIST THE KING

So little money was available for its construction in 1933 that Architect F.L.H. Fleming called it "a holy bam". The bell tower was added in 1936 and has been a landmark ever since. In 1940 Father Trevor Huddleston, an outspoken opponent of apartheid, was appointed Rector, and the Church became an icon of the liberation struggle. In 1955, during the forced removals Huddleston was recalled to England. Once the congregation left the area, the Church was deconsecrated and sold. The site was reconsecrated as an Anglican Church in 1997. Bishop Huddleston's ashes are interred here at his request.

Cullinan  

CULLINAN BUILDING

Cullinan

Dr AB Xuma Sophiatown

DR A.B. XUMA HOUSE

This is one of only two houses to escape the destruction of Sophiatown by the apartheid government in the late 1950s. It was built in 1935 for Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma, a highly qualified medical practitioner, and named Empilweni. He lived here until 1959 together with his wife Madie Beatrice Hall, an African American social worker who served as President of the ANC Womens' League from 1943 to 1949. Elected President General of the ANC in 1940, Dr Xuma introduced a new constitution which opened membership to people of all races and gave women equal rights in the organisation.

  73- Fourth Street

Home of EDOARDO VILLA - KEW

Our most famous sculptor arrived in South Africa as a prisoner of war yet chose to remain.
Trained as an artist in Italy, from 1959 Villa produced the majority of his works in his studio on this property. In 1968, three years after marrying Claire Zafirakos, the couple moved into their new home, this distinctive house, designed by their friend, architect Ian McLennan.

Edoardo Villa died here in 2011 aged 95.

  HILLBROW

ESSELEN STREET CLINIC - Formerly Colin Gordon Nursing Home

This is the work of a highly inventive architect who rejected the rational approach, choosing to express emotion in his buildings. In 1941 Wilhelm B Pabst designed a bastion against dread disease using imagery from a castle. There are surgical cuts to be endured, a battery of injections, life hangs by a thread. Curves, squares, rectangles are all involved. There is nothing simple about disease, but medicine triumphs and over-sails the site boundaries with the array of balconies and the great Oriel window

  Commissioner Street, Johannesburg

FAIRVIEW FIRE TOWER

Johannesburg's first fire station was completed on this site in 1906.The thirty-five metre tower was used as a lookout for spotting fires before the advent of telecommunications and also for drying out fire hoses which were hung in the tower. When the station was re-built in the early 1980s, only the watchtower was kept. It is Johannesburg's only remaining fire tower and the highest of a group of towers in the area.

Fort Kotze Street Hillbrow

FORT

On 31 May 1900 the South Australian Mounted Rifles took the surrender of The Fort. The first to enter were Sgt-Maj. J.R. Read and Cpl. H.H "Breaker" Morant. Thereafter it was garrisoned by the Cheshire Regiment which retained the captured Z.A.R. flag, the "Vierkleur", amongst its trophies.

 

Hillbrow
Friedenskirche
Edith Cavell Street

THE FRIEDENSKIRCHE
LUTHERAN CHURCH

The Friedenskirche (“Church of Peace”) dates from 1912, built to house a German congregation formed in Johannesburg in 1888.  Designed by Theodore Schaerer using kopje stone and rising from the ridge its distinctive Bavarian bell-tower was familiar to the German immigrants, many of them living in cosmopolitan Hillbrow.  The Church was declared a National Monument in 1986

Gandhi House

11 Albermarie Street, Troyeville

GANDHI FAMILY HOUSE

Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi lived here from 1904 to 1906 together with his wife Kasturba and sons Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. They shared the house with Henry Polak, Gandhi's friend and colleague in his law office. In 1905 they were joined by Polak's wife Millie, who describes the house in her book on Gandhi:

"The house was situated in a fairly good middle-class neighbourhood, on the outskirts of town. It was a double-storeyed, detached, eight-roomed building of the modern villa type, surrounded by a garden, and having in front the open spaces of the koppies.The upstairs verandah was roomy enough to sleep on it, and indeed in warm weather it was often so used".

Moerdijk 29 Durris Road Forest Town

GERHARD MOERDIJK 1890-1958

Moerdijk studied architecture in Europe before opening a practice in Johannesburg in 1918. Married the same year, he designed this house and lived here from 1919 until he moved to Pretoria in 1924. Using local materials where possible, the design incorporates different gables and many types of food finishes in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts tradition. He became highly influential as a leading Afrikaans architect, committed to developing a style of architecture appropriate and peculiar to South Africa. He designed numerous important buildings including The Johannesburg Station (which Gordon Leith), the Voortrekker Monument, Libertas and more than eighty Dutch Reformed Churches throughout South Africa.

   

HELEN JOSEPH HOUSE

   

HUGH SOLOMON BUILDING

Designed by Gilbert St John Cottrill in 1904, this was the first Nurses’ Home for the General Hospital. In 1926 a new wing was added, and in 1936 a new hall and dining-hall were completed by Gordon Leith. It was named after the Chairman of the Hospital Board from 1930-1955.  Dress regulations, training and deportment for the nurses were very strict.  In 2006 it was refurbished as the headquarters of the Hillbrow Health Precinct

 

Cyrildene
Plaque for L Ron Hubard House
40 Hannaben Street

L. RON HUBBARD HOUSE

From 1960 to 1961 this property was home to L. Ron Hubbard, author, humanitarian and founder of Scientology. It has been restored to this period and displays many of Hubbard's personal artefacts & achievements. Designed by Frank L. Jarrett in 1951 for a Greek timber merchant, Manos Broulidakis, the house is an excellent example of post-War Modernism with its bold flying roof, rusticated and recessed slasto base, and dramatic form created through the articulation of different functions using the steepness of the ridge slope.

  Jeppe Street, Newtown

JEPPE STREET POWER STATION

This was the last and largest of three steam driven power stations built in Newtown to supply electricity to Johannesburg.  Constructed between 1927 and 1934, it consisted originally of a shorter Turbine Hall and a single ‘North Boiler House’. The Station could not keep up with the city’s demand for electricity, and so, in 1934, the ‘South Boiler House’ was built, and the Turbine Hall extended. However, demand still outstripped supply. In 1942, Orlando Power Station began to take over the supply of electricity to Johannesburg.

  South-west corner of Simmonds and Fox Streets, Johannesburg.

JOHANNESBURG CBD

CHARLES AND ISABELLE LIPP

In 1898 Charles Lipp was appointed Manager of the Johannesburg branch of the African Banking Corporation, whose offices were on this corner. When war broke out in 1899 between Britain and the Z.A.R. Charles and his wife, Isabelle, both British subjects, required permits to remain in Johannesburg. They sent their children away and moved into the top floor of the Bank.

Charles worked by day, but had to patrol at night with the Rus-en-Orde Committee. Isabelle kept a detailed diary of events up to the handing-over of Johannesburg to British forces on 31 May 1900 on Government Square, three blocks to the east.  

 

KINGSWAY MANSIONS

This landmark building is a fine example of residential units of the late 1920's, featuring Cape and classical design elements in the decoration of the gables and balconies. Tenants included members of the JOhannesburg Country Club, and show-business personalities involved in radio and later TV productions at the SABC. The architect was P. Rogers Cooke, who went on to design Art Deco buildings in central Johannesburg, and theatres around the country.

Kliptown Museum Plaque Walter Sisulu Square, Union Street, Kliptown

KLIPTOWN MUSEUM

Crowds watched the adoption of the Freedom Charter from the roof of Jada's Hardware, now converted to a museum

langlaagteplaque Hollard Street off Main Street

LANGLAAGTE STAMP BATTERY

Stamp mills were used to crush gold bearing rock in the early days of mining. This 10-stamp battery went into operation at the Robinson Mine in Langlaagte in 1886, making it one of the earliest stamp mills on the Witwatersrand. In 1912 mine owner Sir Joseph Robinson ordered officials to bury the stamp mill in a slimes dump. Following Sir Joseph’s death in 1929, the stamp was salvaged after a long search. It was refurbished and exhibited at the 1937 Empire Exhibition after which it was donated to the City Council. It was erected in George Harrison Park where it remained until 2003 when it was damaged in a fire. In 2004 the stamp was reconstructed and moved to the Main Street Mining Mall. 

   

LAURISTON COURT

We celebrated Auckland Park’s first blue Plaques the first with Katherine Love at Lindfield House Museum and the second with Pat Corbin at Kingsway Mansions.  

Katherine Love in first picture and second shows Katherine, Eriuc Itzkin and Flo.

 

LINDFIELD HOUSE MUSEUM

Crowds wa

Lutheran Church  

LUTHERAN CHURCH

Site Installation 12 December 2011

 

Lutheran Church

Mandela's Place  

MANDELA'S PLACE

Madiba's first home in Johannesburg, when he came in 1941 to work as a law clerk.

Markham's

Corner Pritchard and Eloff Streets

MARKHAM'S

MARKHAMS BUILDING
Built in 1897 Markham's, the mining town's tallest building, expressed confidence in the future. This premier gentlemen's outfitters symbolises the city's retail history and remains a landmark in space and time. The 1978 public outcry and the efforts of the joint heritage organizations' together with the city council saved the building from demolition.

Markham'sMarkham'sMarkham's

Markham's

Mary Fitzgeral Square Bree and Jeppe Streets, off End street, Newtown

MARY FITZGERALD SQUARE

The Square was originally a wagon site on which many strikers' meetings were held. It was named after the activist Mary Fitzgerald in 1939. A militant defender of womens' rights, she became known as Pickhandle Mary and was a leading figure in the strikes of 1911 to 1914. She became organiser of the Industrial Womens' League, President of the international branch of the Workers of the World and, in the early 1920's, Deputy Mayor of Johannesburg. Throughout the 20th Century, the Square continued to be a popular meeting place for political, community, cultural and worker organisations. The tradition continues to this day.

Melville Koppies Melville Koppies Entrance Judith Road

MELVILLE KOPPIES CAVE

This cave is a fissure formed between 2,9 billion-year-old quartzite rocks of what is now the Melville Koppies Ridge. For hundreds of years the cave provided a shelter for the people living around and moving across this area.

The site was excavated in 1971. An analysis of the archaeological remains found in the cave suggests that, as early as 1 500 A.D., farming communities made use of all the resources the area had to offer. When supplies dwindled they supplemented their diet with wild plants and hunted wild animals.

minersmonument corner Rissik and Smit Streets, Braamfontein

MINER'S MONUMENT

The monument to the mining industry by sculptor David McGregor pays tribute to Johannesburg’s mining origins.  The group of gold miners represents a typical underground team of 1935.  They face west towards Langlaagte where the Main Reef was discovered in 1886.  The artwork symbolizes the contribution of the mining industry to the wealth and prosperity of South Africa.  It was also intended as a peoples’ monument and celebrates the working people who built the city.  The Transvaal and Orange Free State Chamber of Mines presented the sculpture to the City of Johannesburg in 1964. 

Miners Plaque  

MINER'S PLAQUE

Black mineworkers were involved in gold mining in Johannesburg from 1886, but were excluded from the trade unions by white miners and later by apartheid laws, so it was only in December 1982 that the National Union of Mineworkers was formed. This building was constructed in 1934 for Hubert Davies and Company which imported, manufactured and installed engineering equipment and machinery for industry and the mines throughout Southern Africa. Founded in 1894 by J Hubert Davies, a consulting engineer from Scotland who had come to the Rand in1889, the company's first big projects were the electrification of various mines.

NUM Rissik Street, Johannesburg

NATIONAL UNION OF MINE WORKERS - FORMERLY HUDACO HOUSE

Formerly HUDACO HOUSE

Black mineworkers were involved in gold mining in Johannesburg from 1886, but were excluded from the trade unions by white miners and later by apartheid laws, so it was only in December 1982 that the National Union of Mineworkers was formed. This building was constructed in 1934 for Hubert Davies and Company which imported, manufactured and installed engineering equipment and machinery for industry and the mines throughout Southern Africa. Founded in 1894 by J Hubert Davies, a consulting engineer from Scotland who had come to the Rand in1889, the company's first big projects were the electrification of various mines.

 

 

NEWCLARE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Established in 1908 by the Founders' Memorial Congregational Church with only nine pupils and expanded in 1913, this dual medium school was the first in the Transvaal for coloured children. It was taken over by the government in 1917. By 1960 it was the biggest school in South Africa. With a staff of 64 teachers the principal, CJ Botha, ran a platoon system of two sessions a day.

Boundary Road Parktown

RANDJESLAAGTE BEACON

When Johannesburg was proclaimed in 1886 on the triangular site Randjeslaagte the area of the town was nine square km.  Randjeslaagte was a piece of ‘uitvalgrond’ –  land left over from the farms surveyed around it, which was not considered suitable for farming.   The beacon marks the apex of the triangle with its base running along Commissioner Street, from End Street in the East to Ntembi Pilisio Street in the West.  This nine square km. remained the municipal area of Johannesburg until 1901.  The original surveyor’s beacon was a white pole fixed in a cairn of rock and concrete. It was declared a national monument in 1965 and the cairn smoothed with cement.

 

167 Oxford Road, Rosebank

ROSEBANK TELEPHONE EXCHANGE

In 1924 Rosebank was identified as a test site for a new telephone exchange that was established here. The small building was substantially enlarged in the 1930’s when the exchange was extended to cover the north and western areas of the City. Later it housed the Saxonwold Post Office. The building was unoccupied between 1995 and 2005 and was then converted into a boutique hotel, retaining the original facade, which is reminiscent of the 18th Century Cape Townhouse architecture

   

S.A. PERM

Designed in 1937 by Stucke, Harrison & Smail for the South African Permanent Mutual Building Society, the large span structure necessitated a heavy perforated beam above the grand space of the banking hall.  This carried the massive weight of the eleven levels above.  The curvilinear corners, emphasised by the horizontal bands of green and pink terrazzo, are reminiscent of the German architect, Mendelsohn.  It was the first building in the city centre to have underground parking.  The original double volume brass and glass entrance screen on the corner and doorway gave a sense of lightness and welcome to clients, without detracting from the gravitas conveyed by the polished black granite. 

   

S.A. MUTUAL BUILDINGS

This fine office block was designed in 1935 by Stucke, Harrison & Smail for the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society (now Old Mutual) and served as its Johannesburg headquarters for over fifty years.  The fine bronze lamps, and the brass fittings for doors and lifts were made in Johannesburg by Frederick Sage and Co. and adorned the impressive banking hall on the ground floor.  They are worthy echoes of the Rockefeller Centre in New York.  A special Act of Parliament exempted the Mutual Assurance from taxation levied on banks and building societies.   

 

SETH MAZIBUKO HOUSE

This site has been a base for planning struggles against apartheid. It remained under surveillance by the Security Branch during and after June 1976. It was here that Seth Mazibuko , the youngest member of the Student Action Committee, was arrested in July 1976, aged just sixteen. He was held in solitary confinement for 11 months in Number Four at the Fort Prison, in Braamfontein. Seth was then charged, tried and sent to Robben Island for seven years where he completed his matric in English and obtained his B. Ed. Degree.

  Westgate, Johannesburg

ST ALBAN'S MISSION CHURCH

Founded in 1898 to serve the local Coloured Anglican community, a magnificent church designed by F.L.H. Fleming replaced the old wood and iron building in 1928. The forced removal of the congregation in the 1960s threatened the survival of the church. But in 1960 the offices of the diocese were located here under Bishop Leslie Stradling, who was then followed by Bishops Timothy Bavin, Desmond Tutu and Duncan Buchanan. St Alban's served as the Diocesan offices until 1987. It remains a potent reminder of the forced removal of the Coloured people from Ferreirasdorp and Marshalltown.

St Joseph's Hermans Street Cnr Good Street Sophiatown

ST JOSEPH'S CHILDRENS HOME

Buildings on this property are among the few from old Sophiatown which escaped destruction during the forced removals of 1955-1960. St Joseph's Home for Coloured Children was built as a memorial to "Coloured" men who lost their lives in the First  World War. The Home opened its doors in 1923. It was run by the Anglican Nuns, the Order of St. Margaret, East Grinstead who remained in charge until 1978 when they left South Africa in protest against apartheid. The Main Block, Boys' House and Priests' House were designed by the diocesan architect F.L.H. Fleming. The Church successfully opposed removal of the Home because the property was on farm land and not part of a proclaimed township.

   

SANDTON: WILHELMI HOUSE

SANDTON: WILHELMI HOUSE

Built in 1906 on portion of the farm Driefontein, this farmhouse accurately reflects the turn-of-the-century rural lifestyle. Adolf and Elsa Wilhelmi arrived from Germany in 1891, driven by a sense of adventure, They settled in this area and supplied the young growing mining town with fresh farm produce. At the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, Adolf joined the Boer Commandos, was imprisoned and faced internment. He returned to Germany instead. When war ended he returned to Driefontein and built this house.

   

SANDTON: ESTERHUYSEN MONUMENT

The graves of Voortrekkers Jan Christoffel and Maria Magdalena Esterhuysen and their descendants are to be found here.Jan and Maria settled on their farm Zandfontein in 1836 and were the first white family to settle in this area. Jan's mother, Judith, was the sister of Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius. Two of Jan's brothers were killed with Piet Retief when they accompanied him on his historic visit to Dingane in 1838.

Church Stella Street, off West Street, Sandown

SANDTON: THE LITTLE CHURCH IN THE PINES

In the early 1900's the three daughters of Sytze Wierda ( Government engineer and architect of the Transvaal Republic) lived in this area and formed the core of residents who built this church on land donated by the Obermeyer family. Obermeyer, Wierda's son-in-law, was responsible for the wood work. "Oom Rooibaart" Miller, who was Adjutant with the ZARP's during the Anglo-Boer War, did the brickwork and plastering. The church opened in 1924 and is the oldest building in Sandton in its original state. It is now Sandown Union Church.

 

Parkview
1 Armagh Road

SHIRLEY

Designed in 1907 by the English architect Herbert Henry Snowball who saw active service in the Anglo Boer War, this was the home of Dr Everard Digby and his wife Leila. Dr Digby, a dentist, travelled to the City each day by horse.

The house was designed to enjoy magnificent views in all directions and dominated Parkview for many years until tall trees softened its commanding stature.

   

THE RADIUM BEER HALL

  6 Commissioner Street

TRANSVAAL CHINESE UNITED CLUB MANSIONS

Commissioned by the adjoining Club to accommodate Chinese families during the apartheid era, the building was designed in 1940 by architect Wilhelm Pabst, a recent immigrant from Germany.  He wrote “I am of the opinion that where functionalism ends, architecture begins.” This building has an extraordinarily dynamic energy. The façade projects and recedes, refusing to be constrained by concepts of rationalism. The delicate aquamarine tiles are durable and a symbol of Kuan-Yin, the much loved Chinese Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

   

TURBINE HALL

The Turbine Hall and South Boiler House are superb industrial buildings distinguished by their massive scale, fine proportions, inspiring interior space delicacy of detail.  In 2006 the North Boiler House was demolished and in its place a new structure built to accommodate the international headquarters of AngloGold Ashanti.  The new structure is skilfully combined with the architecture of the Turbine Hall and the South Boiler House, to retain the aesthetic unity that was a distinguishing mark of the original complex of buildings.

Turbine Square Newtown

TURBINE SQUARE

The Turbine Hall and South Boiler House are superb industrial buildings distinguished by their massive scale, fine proportions, inspiring interior space and delicacy of detail. In 2006 the North Boiler House was demolished and in its place a new structure built to accommodate the international headquarters of Anglogold Ashanti. The new structure is skillfully combined with the architecture of the Turbine Hall and the South Boiler House, to retain the aesthetic unity that was a distinguishing mark of the original complex of buildings.

   

UNION CASTLE BUILDINGS

This was designed in 1938 by J.A. Moffatt & T.N. Duncan as the Johannesburg office of the Union Castle Mail Steamship Company Limited, founded in    by Donald Currie whose name is associated with competitions in cricket and rugby.  Until 197  the Union Castle line had regular passenger and freight services between South Africa and England which also carried the mail

Villa Arcadia 22 Oxford Rd, Parktown

VILLA ARCADIA

Villa Arcadia Designed for Randlord Lionel Phillips in 1907, the grandeur of the mansion reflected his importance as a mining magnate.

Zoo Lake Lower Park Drive, Parkview

ZOO LAKE

The park is the best-loved gift to the people of Johannesburg, ever since the lake was built in 1906.

zoolakeplaque Lower Park Drive & Ennis Road Parkview

ZOO LAKE

Zoo Lake Centenary 1906-2006 In 1980 Eduard Lippet established a forest, known as the Sachsenwald, on part of the farm Braamfontein. Part of this was given to the people of Johannesburg in 1904 for the specific use as a public park and named the Herman Eckstein Park after a leading mining pioneer. In 1906 the City Council built a lake on this section , which was marshland. It immediately became a major attraction and has continued, particularly throughout the apartheid years, to be a source of great pleasure to all the people of Johannesburg.

 

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Parktown Heritage Plaques

 

Image Location Description
  17 Seymour Avenue

ANNADALE

Designed in 1913 for Mrs Annie Sand and her husband, Pheenie, a building materials merchant.  Annadale boasts the wide stoep and high ceilings characteristic of the Transvaal style.  Coming ten years after the initial burst of construction in Seymour Avenueit retains the graciousness and generous proportions characteristic of the Edwardian era.. P.J. Hofman, the architect, came from Oudtshoorn, but worked mainly in Pretoria.  The house was sold in 1931 to Aubrey Edward Harmel.

  16 Seymour Avenue

AVALON

Built in 1910 for David W John, a merchant, and designed by the pioneering architects Arthur and Walter Reid, Avalon is distinguished by its double storey bay window and open balcony and veranda giving extensive views across Parktown to the northern ridge. It was respectfully adapted and restored by the highly creative architect Karen Wygers as her own home in 2012. The house highlights the Edwardian elegance which dominated Seymour Avenue.

  18 Gale Road BISHOPSKOP

In 1904 architects Baker Masey and Sloper designed this house, tiny chapel and its gardens for Archdeacon Furse. Using the koppie stone quarried on site, Sloper patiently taught the masons to shape the very hard rock. Elevated to Anglican Bishop of Pretoria (the See included Johannesburg) Furse continued to champion the mineworkers. He changed the church’s system of stipends by putting all Anglican priests onto the same graded payroll, operating independently of the wealth or otherwise of each parish.

  Sherborne Road

DYSART HOUSE (formerly ABBERTON)

Christopher William Dix, an Australian, married Emily Pilditch and they came to the Rand in 1895. He joined the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association in 1901, later becoming its secretary. The WNLA recruited black mine workers. for the mines.  Designed for them by Baker and Fleming in 1911 the house is dominated by the sweep of its beautiful Broseley tiled roof with the tall chimneys flanking the ridge. Mr Dix died in 1916 aged 48, leaving his wife and two daughters who later sold the house to Dr JCG MacNab, a  medical doctor from Scotland. He changed the name, and in 1918 added the west wing to accommodate his six children and lived here until 1934 when it was converted into a residential hotel.

  St. Andrew’s Road / St David’s Place : Mike’s Kitchen

EIKENLAAN

The house is named after the avenue of oak trees planted by the first owner, James F Goch, who was born in 1857 in Swellendam. It was designed in 1904 by J.S. Donaldson, with the generous proportions, steeply pitched roof and open veranda favoured in warm colonial climates. James Goch came to the Rand in 1886 and by 1892 he had opened a photographic studio in Pritchard Street as well as a Watchmakers and Jewellers shop, yet his fortune was made from property deals.

 

ART DECO PLAQUE:

26 Pallinghurst Road Westcliff (Originally Abegweit)

 

eMLOVU

Built in 1919 for W Jarvis Palmer the double storey central block was designed by Harold Porter.  In 1936 Emley and Williamson completed the original design for the new owners, Percival and Gladys Rillstone.  Although the additions were substantial, the scale is cleverly concealed by a series of tiered roofs.  An Australian, who served in both Egypt and France in World War I, Rillstone came to South Africa in 1928 and established a large motor dealership bearing his name.

  2 Federation Road

ETUNZINI - (The place in the shade)

Designed by Gordon Leith, Etunzini was built in 1928 for Mrs F.W. Rees and her husband, Lionel William. It is an Arts and Crafts building in the Baker tradition and was bought in 1937 by Frederick Glenton, a founder of Glenton and Mitchell, tea and coffee importers and distributors. It remained in the family until 2011.

  6 BARKLY ROAD

GANNOCHY

Designed for J.R.A Hay in 1915 by Percival Hill Mitchelson in the Arts and Crafts tradition with ground floor in red brick and contrasting first floor in rough-cast plaster, the house is named after  a district in Perth, Scotland, Hay’s birthplace. I n 1961 it was home to journalist and historian A.P. Cartwright, and in 1988 Bruce Fordyce moved in with his family. Nine times winner of the Comrades Marathon and several ultra long- distance races internationally , Fordyce popularised parkr un s enabling  people to run freely in a safe green environment.
  4 Loch Avenue, Parktown West.

KITSON HOUSE

Olympic Gold Medallist at London in 1908 and Stockholm in 1912, and an outstanding tennis player, Henry Harry Austin Kitson worked in the Land and Deeds Department of Rand Mines Ltd. He served with the Cape Mounted Rifles in the Anglo Boer War, bought Cottage No 3 in the “Eckstein Compound” and later bought and moved into Cottage No 2 in 1918. The Cottages were designed by H. Baker and Masey to attract white-collar workers in the gold mining industry. The house remained in the family until 1998.

  10 Rhodes Avenue, Parktown West.

KLEINE SCHUUR

Kleine Schuur, the “perfect cottage”, set the style for Rhodes Avenue in 1910. It was designed by Baker and Fleming for artist/cartoonist Denis Santry. Santry presumably chose the name mockingly referring to the difference between himself and Cecil John Rhodes for whom Baker had built Groote Schuur. Santry’s political satire, much of it focused on World War I, was created in the studio within the steeply-pitched roof. He left in 1918 for Singapore to work as an architect. The next owner was J.A. Ashburnham, Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg.

 

ART DECO PLAQUE:

10 Park Lane, Parktown

LYNDON HALL

This luxurious and elegant apartment building, designed by P Rogers Cooke for Janeal (Pty) Ltd was built in 1944, and given the name of the 1911 house which it replaced. Commissioned by Michael Miller, co-founder of OK Bazaars, and his wife Jane, Lyndon Hall echoed the sophisticated lifestyle they experienced in New York. The asymmetrical façade reflects the division between very large apartments to the north and much smaller flats on the south side for senior staff or employees.

  22 Oxford Road ONDERKOPPIES

Albert Victor Lindbergh, co-founder in 1892 of the Central News Agency (CNA) bought Marienhof in 1916 and changed the German name. CNA was the first distributor of newspapers in Southern Africa and expanded into selling books and publishing school textbooks as well as the works of South African writers. After her husband’s death in1939, Gladys Lindbergh continued living here until 1969 when her house was expropriated and demolished for the motorway. Parts of the stone garden walls and entrance gates remain.

  Park Lane

PHOENIX MANSIONS

Designed by P Hill Mitchelson as upmarket flats in 1928 and named Hyde Park Mansions the property was bought in 1963 by Dr Jack Penn who used one floor as his own home and the remaining units for nursing staff of the Brenthurst Clinic. A plastic surgeon whose autobiography “The Right to Look Human” expressed his dedication, Penn renamed the building after the mythical bird which rises again from its own ashes, the symbol of reconstructive surgery.

  35 The Valley Road, Parktown

PROSPECT TERRACE

Frank Emley designed this home in 1913 for Henry Melville Taberer, a keen cricketer who headed the Native Labour Board. The house is in the Arts and Crafts idiom, expressing the philosophy of William Morris and repeating elements from his Red House. In 1937 Dr Bernard Friedman M.P. bought it. He was an ear, nose and throat surgeon and a founder of the Progressive Party. In 1986 it became the home of Dr Johan  van der Wat and family. Like his father, he became a prominent gynaecologist. In 1986, he was a member of the team that pioneered the world’s first mother/daughter surrogate triplet pregnancy.

  3 Junction Avenue

RIDGEHOLME

Designed by Percival Hill Mitchelson for Mr and Mrs Gregory in 1913 this attractive and deceptively asymmetrical house with its contrasting red brick and white trim has large bay windows and a broad veranda which enticing residents and guests into the garden. Mr. Gregory was the Messenger of the Court. He and his wife lived here until 1931 when Mrs AL Golding purchased the property.  It was bought by the Municipality in 1970 to be demolished for the M6 motorway, but fortunately was leased to the Children’s Theatre instead.

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STONEHOUSE

 

  Oxford Road

VILLA ARCADIA

In 1898 a Swiss Chalet was built here for Carl Rolfes, a merchant. In 1906 it was bought by Randlord, Sir Lionel Phillips, chairman of Rand Mines and a Member of Parliament. His influential wife, Florence, a public spirited leader, founder of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and described as No Ordinary Woman, masterminded the creation of the present Villa Arcadiawith the architect, Sir Herbert Baker. Design features anticipated Pretoria’s Union Buildings, created by Baker the following year. In 1923, under the S.A. Jewish Orphanage it became “The Arc” for children for over 75 years. Bought by HOLLARD in 2003 the Villa’s original elegance and historic craftsmanship have been restored.

   


  3 Junction Road

WYNNSTAY

Designed by Percival Hill Mitchelson for Mr and Mrs Gregory in 1913 this attractive and deceptively asymmetrical house with its contrasting red brick and white trim has large bay windows and a broad veranda which enticing residents and guests into the garden. Mr. Gregory was the Messenger of the Court. He and his wife lived here until 1931 when Mrs AL Golding purchased the property.  It was bought by the Municipality in 1970 to be demolished for the M6 motorway, but fortunately was leased to the Children’s Theatre instead.

 

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Anglo Boer War Heritage Plaques

Image Location Description
Bergie  

Begbie's Foundry

At 12 October 1899 teh Boers Commandeered Begbie's Foundry for armaments production. On 24 April 1900 a massive explosion in the munitions store destroyed part of the foundry and houses nearby. Sabotage was suspected. Full production was resumed before the British occupation five weeks later.

Braamfontein Smit Street

Braamfontein Station

On 25 January 1900 an estimated 400 black miners who had walked from Kimberely to Klerksdorp arrived here by train seeking work. They were told by the Z.A.R. Police to drop their kieries. When they refused the ZARPs opened fire, killing three. The rest were detained at gunpoint and were later forced to work on the mines.

British Gandhi Square British Occupation

Near this point on Government Square, in front of the Court House, on 31 May 1900 Field Marshal Roberts accepted the surrender of Johannesburg from the S.A.R. Commandant, Dr F.E.T. Krause. The Boers had been allowed 24 hours to evacuate the town provided the left the mines intact.

Epic Wits University Gates Enoch Soutry Epic March

On 6 October 1899, 7000 Zulu workers, mainly men, left this site (the Showgrounds) where they had gathered the night before, to walk to their homes in Zululand and Natal.

Pass 80 Albert Street, Johannesburg Pass Office

The Central Pass Office was an infamous checkpoint of the influx control system under apartheid. The "Dompas" which controlled the movement of African people was issued here. Denied a place in the city, many were ordered to leave Johannesburg. This building opened in  1944 as the Non-European Affairs Department and was greatly enlarged in the 1960s. Converted into a womens' hostel in 1994, it was re-named the Usindiso Womens' Shelter.

Fort  

The Fort

On 31 May 1900 the South Australian Mounted Rifles took the surrender of The Fort. The first to enter were Sgt-May. J.R. Read and Cpl. H.H. "Breaker" Morant. Thereafter it was garrisoned by the Cheshire Regiment which retained the captured South Africa Republic (Z.A.R.) flag, the "Vierkleur", amongst its trophies.

Fort  

The Fort

Commissioned November 1896. The Jameson Raid led the South African Republic (Z.A.R.) Executive to instruct Cmdt. A.F. Schiel to construct a fort around part of the existing gaol. Designed to control the town, railways and mines, the fort had two bastions for long-range guns linked by earth rampage. Convict labour excavated and loaded rock and soil from the northern slopes.

 

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ART DECO PLAQUES

Image Location Description
   

DORCHESTER MANSIONS

This block of flats with shops on the ground floor was designed in 1931 by J.C. Cook & Cowen. The elaborate decoration on the facade, combined with the name of the fashionably grand hotel being built at the same time in London, were used to attract wealthy tenants. The decorative plasterwork resembles the striking linear forms used in jewellery of the period, culminating in the diadem which crowns the central bay.  

Gallo Africa

 

GALLO AFRICA

In 1932 Eric Gallo bought this property for the company he had started in 1926 which sold records, musical instruments and sheet music. It expanded rapidly and, in 1936, architects Harrison, Tomkin and Richardson added three storeys and a recording studio as well as remodelling the facade. In 1949 Gallo Africa (Pty) Ltd, commissioned Stark, Harrison & Small to create more space and a distinctive new look. It proved a fine example of Art Deco Revival. The record mills are historic markets of the first place where many famous South African recording artists began their careers.

His Majesty's

 

HIS MAJESTY'S

   

S.A. PERM

Designed in 1937 by Stucke, Harrison & Smail for the South African Permanent Mutual Building Society, the large span structure necessitated a heavy perforated beam above the grand space of the banking hall.  This carried the massive weight of the eleven levels above.  The curvilinear corners, emphasised by the horizontal bands of green and pink terrazzo, are reminiscent of the German architect, Mendelsohn.  It was the first building in the city centre to have underground parking.  The original double volume brass and glass entrance screen on the corner and doorway gave a sense of lightness and welcome to clients, without detracting from the gravitas conveyed by the polished black granite. 

   

S.A. MUTUAL BUILDINGS

This fine office block was designed in 1935 by Stucke, Harrison & Smail for the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society (now Old Mutual) and served as its Johannesburg headquarters for over fifty years.  The fine bronze lamps, and the brass fittings for doors and lifts were made in Johannesburg by Frederick Sage and Co. and adorned the impressive banking hall on the ground floor.  They are worthy echoes of the Rockefeller Centre in New York.  A special Act of Parliament exempted the Mutual Assurance from taxation levied on banks and building societies.   

Silver Pines  

SILVER PINES

Swiss architect, Theophile Schaerer, designed this residence in 1936 for Bernard Kaumhelmer, a Rand pioneer. His daughter Ellen Hellman, the first anthropologist to study urban black communities and the first South African woman to be awarded a Ph.D., lived here. She was chairperson of the SA Institute of Race Relations and a trustee for the Defence and Aid Fund during the Treason Trials. Schaerer used Art Deco elements and contemporary materials such as raw plaster, reinforced-concrete and steel. He created a building which is prestigious and respectful of architectural tradition, with a sense of eduring stability.

   

STANHOPE MANSIONS

Designed in 1934 by J.C. Cook & Cowen .this block of relatively modest flats and uses stylised patterns depicting plants, sunburst designs, rondels and radials in bas relief to embellish what would otherwise be a rather plain exterior.

   

UNION CASTLE BUILDINGS

This was designed in 1938 by J.A. Moffatt & T.N. Duncan as the Johannesburg office of the Union Castle Mail Steamship Company Limited, founded in    by Donald Currie whose name is associated with competitions in cricket and rugby.  Until 197  the Union Castle line had regular passenger and freight services between South Africa and England which also carried the mail

   

NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS
Formerly HUDACO HOUSE

Built in 1934 for Hubert Davies and Company which imported, manufactured and installed engineering equipment and machinery for industry and the mines throughout Southern Africa.  Founded in 1894 by J Hubert Davies a consulting engineer from Scotland who had come to the Rand in1889, the company’s first big projects were the electrification of various mines.  The strong vertical lines of the building build up to the dramatically sculpted corner tower with the simple straight lines of the beamed entrance to an Egyptian temple.  Perhaps appropriately this structure holds the lift motor rooms, the machinery which empowers workers to rise to the top.

 

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WESTCLIFF PLAQUES

Image Location Description
  5 Wexford Avenue

THE CAPERS (formerly DAVAAR)

Designed in 1918 for Mr and Mrs T.J. Welch by Cook and Ralston, architects of the original Pretoria Town Hall, this gracious home was acquired in 1924 by Bridget and Orlando Leake. A staunch Wesleyan and a Rand Pioneer, Mr Leake served as a councillor on the Johannesburg Council for twenty-seven years without remuneration, and as Mayor from 1925 to 1926. Orlando Township in Soweto was named after him in recognition of his concern for disadvantaged communities.

  31 The Valley Road, Parktown

CRANBROOK

In 1911 Waterson and Veale designed this house for F.M. Barry, who sold it in 1916 to Dr F.S. Lister, a doctor seconded from the gold mines to the South African Institute for Medical Research. In 1918 he identified the pneumococcus responsible for the deaths of thousands of mine workers annually, and developed an effective vaccine against it. This breakthrough in health medicine was rewarded with a knighthood in 1920, and it was as Sir Frederick Spencer Lister that in 1926 he was appointed as Director of the Institute.

  19 Pallinghurst Road, Westcliff

WESTCLIFF

The original building and stables, designed by architect Harvey Clayton in 1903,were built for William Lincoln Honnold, an American mining engineer and his wife, Caroline. They arrived in the Transvaal in 1902. Alterations by Herbert Baker in 1909 changed and enlarged the north facade and added the west wing. Further alterations were done in 1917 by Pearse and Ellis. Honnold was with Consolidated Mines Selection Co. Through his American contacts he helped facilitate part of the establishment of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa, becoming one of its permanent directors.

The house was later occupied by Harold Thomas Dickenson, manager of De Beers Mine. He was involved in the manufacturing munitions during World War I and, in 1936, became a director in the Anglo American group.

  28 Pallinghurst Road, Westcliff

YE ROKKES

This house was designed in eclectic style in 1902 for John Jolly, a merchant and founding director of Premier Diamond Mine. Later notable occupants include F. Glenton, tea importer, AA von Maltitz, mining engineer and director of Anglovaal companies, his wife Gerda von Maltitz, painter and their daughters Amalie von Maltitz, sculptor, in Stalhuis, the converted stables, and Alida van Deventer, artist and marionette master. Alida used the billiard room as a small theatre, performing there over five decades