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.
SECOND QUARTER'S PROGRAMME
3rd Quarter Programme - Jul to Sept 2015 - click to download word document else view it on-line under the Events section. Click to view the Newsletter.
Johannesburg Heritage Foundation Constitution
MARSHALL STREET POLICE BARRACKS: GOOD NEWS
NDPW INCLUDES THE HERITAGE LOBBY IN THE DELIBERATIONS ON DEVELOPMENT
Since February this year members of the heritage lobby have been attending meetings with the National Department of Public Works discussing the development of the Marshall Street Police Barracks and the site they call 65 Anderson Street.
We were more than sceptical at the first meeting, became even more suspicious when no heritage architect was appointed, so only at the final meeting on 18th May did we accept their bona fides and really enjoy the discussions. Yasmin Mayat of Mayat Hart architects has been appointed as the heritage architect. She laid down the law very firmly and we certainly intend supporting her whenever possible.
SO ANYONE WHO HAS PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MARSHALL STREET POLICE BARRACKS AND THE SMALL BUILDINGS ON THE SITE BEFORE THE FIRE PLEASE LET US SCAN THEM.
Bhavid of Creative Axis architects presented the design for the 2 new office buildings, one of which will be entirely new in form in that area. No pretence or pastiche. They relate in some respects to the old, but with the freedom Norman Foster claimed for the Hearst Tower in New York these buildings will stand out in Marshallstown as unashamedly 21st Century.
Space is created between the old and new recalling the parade ground which was the breathing space behind the barracks building. In fact the 9 storeyed eastern “barrel” block is scooped out to bring in more light. The ground floor opens possibilities for café/canteen, breakaway area and rest area from the gym. I predict it might prove a more human area for queuing as one does so often outside government buildings.
Transparency has been an important quality in sharp contrast to the old military building. Bhavid has created a transparent connection between Marshall and Anderson Street which we support as it extends the link through to Gandhi Square. The central atrium which links the two office buildings underlines this quality which is a principle fundamental to our constitution.
At street level the upper range of the new blocks will be seen, but floating above rather than emerging directly from the rooftop of the Barracks building.
More difficult to manage is the retention of the old wall on Anderson Street which is also the façade with vehicular access to the underground parking.
SO IT IS VERY GOOD NEWS!!! We’ll have a professionally researched report on the site, the restoration which will include some reconstruction of the old and rather fine neo-Colonial building, possibly the commemoration of elements which may be significant of the two old buildings which will be demolished; a small display of any artefacts and photographs providing a history of the site – and two astonishing new public buildings which should make the civil servants inside more civil due to the exciting environment. Oh yes. The new buildings will certainly have to meet green standards.
Congratulations to Lerato Lenong and her team.
FLO BIRD and HERBERT PRINS
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.
PROTECTING PARKTOWN's MOST HISTORIC RIDGE
PARKTOWN EAST RIDGE CONSERVANCY AND PRECINT PLAN
A list of the significant buildings in the area and guidelines for conservation of the publiuc space, views, houses and allowance for development have been proposed and will be discusses
TUESDAY 24th of March 2015 at 5.30pm at Holy Family College, 40 Oxford Road (parking off Third Avenue)
The final public meeting in March approved the Draft Precinct Plan with reservations from some stakeholders who wanted small adjustments which have subsequently been incorporated. There have been no further comments so we shall be presenting the Precint Plan first to the officials in the City Planning Department and the Heritage section, then to Johannesburg City Parks and the Johannesburg Roads Agency. At the same tiem we have asked the Provincial Heritage Resources Aiuthoirty for a slot to make a presnetation on the heritage aspects since these are crucial to the Conservancy as well as to the Precinct Plan.
Press here for listing.
Press here for the Guidlines.
JOHANNESBURG HERITAGE JOURNAL: NUMBER 4
The most recent edition is available by going to that page on our website. I enjoy the journals because this is all primary material with touches of unconscious humour only time can add.
- The 1918 Motor trip to St Lucia is almost unbelievable compared with today’s luxury travel. Who dares to grumble about a pothole after reading this?
- Sarah Welham has wickedly recounted an expedition into darkest Africa – the north-east side of Town – where we found not only traders and friendly people, but some fascinating buildings we would never have imagined had survived. St Margaret’s School by Baker and Fleming for the Sisters of East Grinstead! The Old Cinerama with the Eduardo Villa panel on the side. We didn’t go inside to check on the Cecily Sash – we had totally forgotten that.
- Then William Gaul’s Melville Memories. I do hope it will inspire other old Melvillites to send us photographs and stories.
- I loved Café de Move-on by Costa Phitidis about his grandfather. Searching the Museum Africa Archives Linda found BUILDING PLANS for two of these eateries on wheels. They were clearly taken very seriously indeed.
So enjoy reading it on line opr if you are very old fashioned and want a hard copy please e-mail Eira on 011 482-3349 and arrange to collect one. Theyw ill definitely be avialable at the AGM. They cost R35 each.
Click here to open Journal V4
Berea Fire Station
A small item, but one which needs attention because this is a fully declared Heritage Site.
The steel dormer window clearly replaced an earlier timber window. The old photographs show that this was originally a sliding sash. We would like to restore this so that the lovely timber windows are all matching and consistent.
Member's Tour - 18 to 20 October 2013
See Events Page
Members' Tour to Kimberely
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
Click here to open Johannesburg Listings in Excel
Anyone altering a building over 60 years old needs help . So we have drawn up a list of preferred practitioners. The Foundation defines a heritage architect as a professional architect who either has a qualification in heritage architecture or who has demonstrable experience and skill in the conservation of buildings or places of architectural, aesthetic or historical significance. In considering the relevance of experience and skill the Foundation will apply its mind to both the quality and quantity of the practitioner’s relevant body of work.
Click to find them:
LIST OF RECOMMENDED HERITAGE CONSULTANTS
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.
We have been sent the Latest requirements from PHRAG for permits and for nominations for heritage sites. PLEASE CLICK on the Form below to down load these. BE SURE TO USE THESE AS THEY ARE THE MOST UP TO DATE VERSION AND WILL SAVE DOING ANOTHER SUBMISSION
PHRAG Application Requirements or PHRAG Nomination Form
“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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
"We have made a start ...!"
Introduction to Listings and Assessments
Click here to open Johannesburg Listings in Excel
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 : 25/06/2015