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Welcome to the

Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

 

Joburg Heritage Tours

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Village Main Headgear 2 Mine Headgear 3

 

Witwatersrand Mining Survey Listing

To view click here

 

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Radio Today

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.

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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

 

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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

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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.

 

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Hand Over

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

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"We have made a start ...!"

Introduction to Listings and Assessments

Click here to open Johannesburg Listings in Excel

 

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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

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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.

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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 : mail@joburgheritage.co.za 

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FRIENDS, CORPORATE MEMBERS AND SPONSORS

The Northwards Trust

     

picBarrow Construction

picHollard

picTransman

 

 

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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.

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Last Edit : 15/12/2015

 

 
 
 
 
 

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Headgear

Once the Highest Headgear in the World

 

Minedump

Man Made Mountain - Mine Dumps

 

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Sky Scrapers Johannesburg

Dorchester Mansions - Astor Mansions - Castle Mansions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

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