Rand Club

Johannesburg has dozens of remarkable staircases inside its houses, hotels, offices, churches, fire stations and apartment buildings. Some are well known while others are more obscure. Below are ten of my favourite. Enjoy! Feel free to send through pics of your favourites.

Stewarts and Lloyds Building / Marshdale House

This wonderful album was published by Paul Schaefer and Company of Cape Town, a well-known compiler of souvenir books. The cover photograph in the oval inset shows the original Park Station which came to Johannesburg from the Netherlands in 1896. The station was designed by Jacob Klinkhammer. It was the point of arrival for visitors to Johannesburg in the early 20th century so this image is an appropriate entry portal to the town.

 

Bookplates are a collecting subject in their own right and are a bibliophile's delight. A bookplate is very simply a sticky decorative label for pasting on the front  inside cover or boards of a book proclaiming ownership and indicating that this particular book belongs to xxx library or person. Often the words "ex Libris"  appear showing that the book is from a specific library, it could be an individual or an institution. When one acquires an old book with a bookplate it becomes part of the provenance of the previous ownership of a volume.

The Rand Club is one of Johannesburg's great landmarks. It has a rich and controversial history and remains a major attraction for the public on occasions when access is arranged. Kathy Munro, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits, visited the Club recently exploring every nook and cranny and pondering the future of this iconic institution. The Club has been reinventing itself for a number of years but tough decisions lie ahead...

By now most Joburgers will be aware that on 30 September 2015 the historic Rand Club shut its doors. Whether this move is temporary or permanent is a matter of debate but there is one man who believes emphatically that the best days of the Club are ahead. That man is Wilson Mphaga, the larger than life personality who has welcomed members and guests to the Rand Club for the past decade and a half. Earlier this week we were lucky enough to sit down and chat with the man that many have come to know as the ‘Face of the Club’.

 

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