Markhams Building

Markhams Building, located on the corner of Eloff and Pritchard Streets in Johannesburg, is a landmark of the city. It is striking because it has survived. Built in 1897, it is nearly as old as the city itself.

 

In the article below, journalist Lucille Davie reveals the deep connection that famous author Herman Charles Bosman had for the spaces and places of Johannesburg. The article was first published on the City of Joburg's website on 21 January 2004. Click here to view more of Davie's work.

Herman Charles Bosman watched as they demolished the old Magistrate's Courts in downtown Joburg. And felt "a kind of silent fury".

It has been about four decades since the people of Johannesburg rallied to put pressure on the Johannesburg City Council and the Foschini Group to save the Markhams Building from demolition. The article below, written by J Campbell-Pitt representing the then Transvaal Institute of Arhitects, reveals the architectural and historical significance of the building. The piece was published in the August 1979 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation.

This is an article that we have been wanting to write for years. We have always been amazed how the six storey Markhams building was once the tallest building in the city and thought it would be fascinating to trace the record breakers over the decades. The list is definitely a work in progress and we will need your help to generate a complete picture. Feel free to add your comments below the article. [Originally published in 2014]

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