Outrage at illegal demolition of Crown Mines Offices

We have just learned that the old Crown Mines Head Office, with its landmark assay chimney, has been illegally demolished. A declared National Monument (now a Provincial Heritage site) this was one of the most significant mining elements in the City of Johannesburg.

Site of Crown Mines office, now obliterated
All that remains of Crown Mine offices

Standing just west of the M1 and the M2 intersection, bounded by Main Reef Road and Press Avenue, the offices were the administrative headquarters of the great Crown Mines which incorporated many early mines in Johannesburg including Crown Reef, Langlaagte Deep and Langlaagte Royal. At one time, it operated 28 shafts.

The mine offices were designed by Sir Herbert Baker and the complex included the survey and assay offices, laboratory, boardroom and Mine Manager’s office. The corridor approaching the latter was hung with portraits of all the previous mine managers who held what was the most prestigious position in the mining world.

The illegal destruction of this heritage structure is a great loss for the city and a total disgrace. The guilty party needs to be charged and forced to reconstruct the buildings and the assay tower. This was the ‘punishment’ imposed with the similarly cavalier destruction of the Rand Steam Laundries and the heritage community demands nothing less for the Crown Mines Head Office.

PHRAG and the City of Johannesburg must name the villain and lay charges immediately.

Flo Bird
Chairperson of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

View an article about the Crown Mines Offices from Planning Magazine, 1979.

3 thoughts on “Outrage at illegal demolition of Crown Mines Offices”

  1. This is just blatant destruction of our countries rich heritage it’s not just architectural but cultural heritage yes it could be rebuilt but the soul of the building would be lost . Unfortunately the only way to get anything done in the way of finding the culprits would be the lengthy process of legal action

  2. WHAT ELSE CAN WE EXPECT IN SOUTH AFRICA. EVERYTHING IS SCREWED UP AN DEMOLISHED.

    SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY THAT ONCE WAS BEAUTIFUL.

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