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.
FIRST QUARTER'S PROGRAMME
1st Quarter Programme - Jan to Mar 2016 - click to download word document else view it on-line under the Events section. Click to view the Newsletter.
Joubert Park Petition Hand Over
Professor Louis Grundlingh, Flo Bird and Mpho Tshitimbi presented the nearly 2 000 signature petition to Khumbu Magudela, manager of Stakeholder Relations in the Private Office of the Executive Mayor on 27th October 2015. The Photograph was taken by a photographer from Joubert Park who accompanied the delegation so that he could report back to people in the park, many of whom had signed the petition, that it had been delivered to the Mayor’s office.
The letter accompanying asks that the Mayor give an unequivocal written reply assuring the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation that he will uphold the title deed and ensure that Joubert Park is used for the recreation and entertainment of the people of Johannesburg and nothing else.
So now we wait for his reply.
WITWATERSRAND MINING SURVEY
This survey of the mining buildings and structures in and around Johannesburg was commissioned by SAHRA and undertaken by the architect Douglas Rodd starting in 1993
The buildings and structures which he recorded are filed under the name of the mine, its use – administration, industrial, residential recreational, retail etc. The nearest street address is given and there are historical maps dating from 1891 and geographical location maps of the sites for each mine. The original document can be consulted at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation’s Research Centre by arrangement and for a small fee. There are extracts from historical articles included in the appendices. All the sites were photographed in black & white and prints may be ordered – cost to be established.
NB There is no guarantee that any of these buildings or structures still exist.
|Village Main Headgear 1
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||Mine Headgear 3
Witwatersrand Mining Survey Listing
To view click here
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
The guidelines and listing of buildings were discussed at the public meeting held on 24th March and adopted though some people wanted a more detailed follow-up on their sites. This was done and then the completed document was delivered to the City of Johannesburg. In July Ms Yondela Silimela, the Executive Director of Planning and Urban Development and three other members of the Planning Department were taken on a tour of the area followed by a full presentation. Judging from the questions asked it seemed they favoured the Precinct Plan. However, we are still waiting for a reply.
Meanwhile we had the hearing of an appeal on the property Le Palme, 6 Federation Road. The controls for this additional development for offices had been dealt with in great detail in terms of the heritage principles laid down in the precinct Plan. All objections were withdrawn and to the best of our understanding the principles of the Precinct Plan were accepted not only by the applicant but also by the Townships Board.
PRESS HERE FOR PRECINCT PLAN
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.
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. Sadly this has not happened and as SAHRIS website seems paralysed we are reverting to the Heritage Register as the most reliable . So thank you, James Ball.
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
"We have made a start ...!"
Introduction to Listings and Assessments
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 : email@example.com
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 : 15/12/2015