October to December 2004 - DOC

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October to December 2004 - DOC Powered By Docstoc
					December 2006                                                        No 73

Dear Members,

We have had some very good news to start the holiday season. SAHRA has rejected the
proposal for a hotel right in front of the old Newtown Compound which is now the Workers
Library and Museum. It was such an extraordinarily insensitive and insulting scheme
which we opposed vehemently so Hallelujah!

JDA is making a serious contribution to heritage regarding Transport House, but they
seem quite extraordinary when it comes to other areas. They commission heritage surveys
and DO NOTHING! Doornfontein is a major concern. It should be cherished and restored
to become the focal point of the World Cup with Beit Street pedestrianised so that cafés
and small shops can flourish. Instead the City is allowing it to fall into a shocking state of
decay. Even the Council’s own buildings, that charming triangle of cottages between Ellis
Park and the Johannesburg Stadium are badly neglected.

That terrace should be upgraded to a Battlefield View Site. It looks down on the place
where the Transvaal Scottish was encamped on 11th March 1922 without placing pickets.
They were sitting ducks for the Strikers, many of whom had seen active service in the First
World War.

What is happening to Bregy’s Pharmacy and the studio of sculptor, Anton Van Wouw? It
is astounding how the authorities manage to ignore some blatant offences, yet take up
others. But it is really sad that PHRAG (Provincial Heritage Resources Authority of
Gauteng) is completely unresponsive on certain issues. We have asked them repeatedly
to clarify the position on 22 Girton Road, the huge glass horseshoe building designed by
Helmut Jahn, and heard NOTHING!

We lodge objections to demolitions and have to wait for the newspapers to inform us what
is happening. In the case of rezonings the City copies all objectors with the letter to the
applicant. Surely PHRAG could do likewise with applications for demolitions, alterations
and additions - a few extra pages of copying and a stamp would solve that lack of

Those on the Braamfontein Tour had the chance to look at the old house in Smit Street
which served as the Hotel School’s restaurant. With the Trades School being demolished
for Gautrain right next door, how long will that old house survive?

But that tour gave cause for hope of a revival. The Alexander Theatre will re-open next
year, the parking and grounds around the Civic Theatre have been improved and the
brightly painted City Bakery has been resuscitated; the Milner Park Hotel is still going
strong with the public bar as noisy as in 1897 and the garden at Cape Gate (Barlows) is
lush and green, defying all the predictions of property experts since the day it was built in
1954 bucking the trend for skyscrapers.

The City of Johannesburg is gets full marks because the Regional Spatial Development
Framework for Parktown and Westcliff specifically protects heritage buildings and includes
the list the Trust compiled last year. Our list must now be revised and this time we shall
include the good modern buildings because we are not bound to value only those that are
more than 60 years old.

Unfortunately officials don’t uphold the RSDF. We opposed the rezoning of Arcay House
(corner Anerley and Oxford Roads) for additional bulk. The City supported it even though
the “garden” would be reduced to a parking lot. The planners didn’t mention a 10 metre
road widening along Oxford Road. They didn’t require a Site Development Plan; nor did
they refer to the RSDF and the need to protect heritage sites or demand sustainable

All that concerned them was that it would regularise an irregular situation. Increasing the
land value was purely incidental. Anticipating the rezoning Department of Planning and
Urban Management had already approved the consolidation and re-subdivision of the site.
So the Planning Committee was only required to rubber stamp what officials and the
developer had already agreed.

What’s in store for members in 2007? We have a full and varied programme ahead and
tours go from the plush and wildly romantic Northwards to forgotten areas like Langlaagte
with its “fontein” and dressed stone reservoir. We will be looking at lovely gardens,
enjoying magnificent views and tramping around our oldest cemetery where Sarah has
found some more fascinating stories and old friends. Visiting the homes of Jo’burg’s
architects give special insight into their ideals and response to the sites they have chosen.
For those who love the old Convent with its pretty broekie-lace and museum of memories
we are devoting an afternoon to showing off its Victorian face and Art Deco hall, the
enormous Aga and equally enormous boiler and refrigerator.

We have asked Sue Krige of Cultural Encounters arrange the tours of the Drill Hall and of
Sophiatown because she has done an immense amount of research on both.

We are looking for volunteers to join our Guides programme. Each tour takes a great deal
of research and preparation. So if you relish hard work and discovering aspects and
places in Jo’burg where none have dreamed of going before, please phone, fax or e-mail
us. I am ashamed to admit I have lost the names and contact details of two volunteers.
So please remind me!

Our office closes on the 8th December and our last tour takes place on 16th December with
the magic of Main Street for Jo’burg fans. Elaine will be back on 8th January, the Research
Centre opens then too.

Have a happy holiday, eat well and drive very, very carefully. We look forward to seeing
you all fit and raring to go in 2007.

Flo Bird
            January to March 2007
 “Gardens & Genealogy on the Ridge” – Walking
SAT.      The water gardens of Savernake tumble down the ridge while the wilderness garden
13 Jan    of Enduleni stretches across the slopes. Exotic and indigenous plants blend to
          glorious effect. A visit the Genealogy Centre completes a fascinating afternoon
MEET:     Flo Bird and Esme Wiesmeyer at The Mount – 9 Jubilee Road, Parktown
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R50.00 for members and R70.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 3 Hours
MAX NO.:  40
        “Braamfontein Cemetery” – Walking Tour
SAT.      This will be a very grave affair. Handkerchiefs and smelling salts will be
20 Jan    de rigeur except for those whose interest in Jo’burg’s history outweighs their sense
          of decorum. Flowers and petals are permitted as some of those to whom we shall
          pay our respects are worthy of such tokens. We won’t avoid the gruesome details
          so this tour isn’t for the squeamish!
MEET:     Val Hammerton and Sarah Welham at cemetery office inside gate in Graf Street.
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R50.00 for members and R70.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 3 Hours
MAX NO.:  25
  “Parktown West Gardens & Homes” – Walking
SAT.      Baker’s dream was to create a garden which was the perfect setting for his homes,
27 Jan    and few clients escaped his horticultural vision. We visit various gardens in
          Parktown West including those that remain faithful to his design and those where
          the owner has dared to be different! See Baker houses in exquisite gardens, a
          modern home in the African idiom and wonderful views from two ridges; this tour
          combines architecture and horticulture with touches of history.
MEET:     William Gaul and William Martinson at the small park in Seymour Avenue,
          Parktown West.
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R50.00 for members and R70.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 3 Hours
MAX NO.:  40
    “Villa Arcadia – House & Garden” – Walking
SAT.           Take this opportunity to see the beautifully restored Villa Arcadia and Sleeping
3 Feb          Beauty’s garden! Thanks to Hollard’s proud custodianship we can once again visit
               the 1909 home of Lionel & Florence Phillips and hear tales of their reign over
               Johannesburg society. Do not miss the chance to experience the historical
               mystique of Villa Arcadia complemented with a unique 21st century collection of
               art and beadwork.                 Book early please
MEET:          Val Hammerton and Raymond Cardoso at the Hollard offices
               (Ent. in Federation Rd, Parktown - off Oxford Rd)
TIME:          2.00pm
COST:          R65.00 for members & R85.00 for non-members( incl tea)
DURATION: Approx 2.5 Hours
MAX NO:   40

    “Langlaagte & Paarlshoop” – Walking Tour
SAT.      We invite you to join us on location as we explore the dawn of a new era
10 Feb    from the original Voortrekker farm to the discovery of the richest goldfield
          in the world and the mining camp which was to become the earliest private
          township on the Rand. Even the trees tell a tale of spring water.
MEET:     Flo Bird and David Forrest at the church square off Marais Street
          in Paarlshoop.(Secure parking)
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R50.00 for members & R70.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 3 hours
MAX NO.:  40

                   “Drill Hall” – Walking Tour
SAT.      A turbulent history ranging from volunteers for World Wars I and II, the treason
17 Feb    trials, conscripts for SADF and later the HQ of Wits Command. Abandoned,
          invaded and devastated twice by fire, this is an extraordinary story of survival.
          This tour will be led by a specialist guide from Cultural Encounters and will
          include refreshments and an information booklet.
MEET:     Deanna Kirby and Florence Shtein -Sunnyside Park Hotel (2 York Road, Parktown)
          Parking at the Drill Hall is limited so we will consolidate cars and travel in convoy.
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R75.00 for members & R95.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 2.5 hours
MAX NO.:  30

                        “Alexandra” - BUS TOUR
WED       Join us for a weekday tour to explore the sites & sounds of Alex – hear
21 Feb    the history from 1904 to today - poignant, painful, tumultuous and victorious
          our sister city tells her story with the thread of ubuntu woven throughout
          her tapestry. Amongst other sites we will also visit the inspiring South
          African Ballet Theatre’s programme for the aspiring dancers of Alex.
          (N.B. Please bring your own packed Lunch)
MEET:     Gill Sagar at the Sunnyside Park Hotel (2 York Road, Parktown)
TIME:     12 noon
COST:     R180.00 for members & R200.00 for non-members.
DURATION: Approx. 4.5 hours
MAX N0:   16

         “Architects and their Homes” - BUS TOUR
SAT.      Only the most successful architects can afford to live in the homes they design!
24 Feb    Love ‘em or hate ‘em these are some of the most exciting houses you’ll get to see
          and, astonishingly, many are in the Baker tradition
                   LIMITED SPACE – Please book early
MEET:     Dennis Adams and William Martinson
          Sunnyside Park Hotel (2 York Road, Parktown)
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R100.00 for members & R115.00 for non-members.
DURATION: Approx. 3 hours
MAX N0:       56


                   “Northwards” - House Tour
SAT.          Bring your friends on this outstanding tour which will be conducted by
3 Mar         witty raconteur and Northwards devoted admirer, Dr Neil Viljoen.
              Northwards and Jose Dale Lace (our glamorous ghost) are the finest Parktown has
              to offer. Even Herbert Baker succumbed to Jose’s charms and allowed some
              fanciful details to creep in – lapses in Baker’s usual style.

MEET:         Dr Neil Viljoen - 21 Rock Ridge Road, Parktown
TIME:         2.00pm
COST:         R65.00 for members & R85.00 for non-members (incl. refreshments)
DURATION:     Approx. 3 Hours
MAX NO.:      40

                   “Sophiatown” – Walking Tour
SAT.          We are fortunate to have a specialist guide from Cultural Encounters lead our
10 Mar        group recalling the turbulent history of Sophiatown. We will visit
              St Joseph’s Home and museum which is part of the Trevor Huddleston Centre as
              well as the Church of Christ the King with the Huddleston memorial and the Sekoto
              mural. The tour cost includes entrance fee, refreshments and information booklet.

MEET:     Deanna Kirby and Raymond Cardoso at St Joseph’s Home
          (Cor Good & Herman Streets in Sophiatown)
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R100.00 for members & R120.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 3 hours
MAX NO.:  30


          “Parktown Convent” – Walking Tour
SAT.          A landmark on Oxford Road, Parktown Convent (now the Holy Family College)
17 Mar        with its broekie lace and delicate balustrades straddles capacious grounds. Whether
              it’s Sister Phillips on the tractor or Sister Helen in the detention room, the women
              of the old convent were as extraordinary as the building. We explore every nook
              and cranny from boiler room to attic completing our exploration with refreshment
              under the venerable old oak tree.

MEET:     Nora McIlroy, Flo Bird and Winnie Job at the Holy Family College
          (40 Oxford Road, Parktown)
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R50.00 for members & R70.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 2.5 hours
MAX NO.:  30

            “Constitution Hill” - Walking Tour
SUN          From the horror came the hope - take this opportunity to travel through
25 Mar       South Africa’s painful past, journeying to the celebration of its remarkable
             transition to democracy. See the infamous Number 4 and the exhibitions
             and hear the stories of those incarcerated there - justly and unjustly. Visit the
             Constitutional Court and the art collection. Take a moment to soak in the
             atmosphere of one of the world’s most progressive constitutions enshrined
             on a site that previously epitomised one of its most backward.

MEET:     Gill Sagar at the visitors’ entrance in Sam Hancock St.
TIME:     9.30am
COST:     R60.00 for members & R80.00 for non-members
DURATION: Approx 2.5 hours
MAX NO.: 30


 “Jo’burg CBD – The New Boom Town” - BUS TOUR
SAT.          Jo’burg’s booming again and who better to guide us around these
31 Mar       extraordinary developments than Neil Fraser, champion of the inner city –
             the historic core.
             LIMITED SPACE – Please book early

MEET:     Neil Fraser at Sunnyside Park Hotel (2 York Road, Parktown)
TIME:     2.00pm
COST:     R100.00 for members & R115.00 for non-members.
DURATION: Approx. 3 hours
MAX N0:   56


         FOR TELEPHONE BOOKINGS: (011) 340 8000

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Description: October to December 2004