Restoration

Below is a superb article on the history and restoration of the famous wine farm Boschendal. It was written by Gwen and Gawie Fagan and appeared in the August 1979 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

In the article below, originally published in 1975, Gwen and Gawie Fagan look at the history and restoration of Schroder House in Stellenbosch. The article appeared in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holder) for giving us permission to reproduce here.

History

A few years ago, one of the oldest houses in Norwood faced a bleak future. The owners had spent little to nothing on maintenance over the years, rubbish was piling up and services had been disconnected. Developers began circling hoping to acquire the property for a bargain price. Illegal demolition appeared to be the most likely outcome at this stage.

Het Posthuys (also known as De Post Huys) in Muizenberg is considered by many to be one of the oldest structures built by European settlers in South Africa. For many years the secret of its age and significance remained hidden until the keen eye of an estate agent and the skills of an historian uncovered the remarkable details in the late 1970s. The article below was written shortly before restoration of the property began (+-1979) and appeared in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa).

Thank you to the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) and the University of Pretoria for allowing us to publish this powerful piece on the restoration of Dunluce in 1976. The article was first published in the 1978 edition of Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation.

In 1996, George Zondagh, then Chief Architect at the Department of Public Works, set out a few ideas about the role of the Department in heritage preservation. Although some parts of the article are out of date, many of the key principles are just as relevant today as they were two decades ago. The article first appeared in Restorica, the joural of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permision to publish.

Below is an incredibly powerful and detailed case study compiled by Dennis Radford in 1986. It looks at the restoration of 4 Anglo-African Street in Grahamstown and the creation of the Eastern Star Museum. The article was first published in Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the University of Pretoria for giving us permission to publish.

The Kimberley City Hall is one of the city's major attractions and a declared heritage site. It may be hard for current visitors to imagine a time when the future of the building was in doubt. Below is an article describing heroic efforts to save the landmark building in the mid 1970s. It was published in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van Der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

The Settlers Park Monument is in fragments, the Horse Memorial is missing its Soldier, and Queen Victoria has a green dress.  All across the nation, monuments are covered in graffiti and paint. The bronzes are corroding, the marbles are stained, and the iron is disappearing everywhere, but this is all in a day’s work in the life of an art conservationist.

In September 1969 an earthquake hit the town of Tulbagh damaging a large number of highly significant buildings on Church Street. What followed was nothing short of remarkable as people from all over the country pulled together in a fight to save the built environment heritage of the town. The article below, which appeared in the Simon van der Stel Foundation's 1973 journal Bulletin, tells the extraordinary restoration story.

[Originally published in April 2015] At a time when many memorials have been neglected and dozens of statues have been vandalised it is wonderful to report that the landmark South African / Anglo Boer War Memorial in Saxonwold is being restored. Scaffolding is in place and a competent contractor has been appointed.

This fantastic article describes Cas Nel's 'Partnership with Pabst' during the restoration of the famous Joki House in the late 1980s. A huge thank you to Cas for sending through the superb photographs.

The partnership approach facilitates the achievement of excellence in architecture. It is an approach in which a spirit of co-operation is the basis. It relies on a partnership of various skills that is synthesized in the process of the project.

On a Saturday in mid October 2015, a group of Johannesburg Heritage Foundation members gathered in Rissik Street in front of what older Johannesburg citizens knew as the Johannesburg City Hall. Today the building is the Gauteng Legislature. We met on the City Hall steps, standing on what was once the historic market square, laid out in Johannesburg in 1886. It is a space that has seen vast transformations, buildings have come and gone, ideas about city centre layouts have altered.

[Originally published 24 April 2013] In 2009 local businessman Gerrit van der Stelt stumbled across a small demolition notice attached to a boundary wall of the highly significant Tait House in Benoni. What followed was a desperate struggle by the community to preserve the historic home. The Heritage Portal is happy to report that not only is the house still standing but it could also become a powerful symbol of the ability of old and new to coexist and thrive.

After many years of depressing headlines there is finally some good news for the Germiston Carnegie Library. The following fascinating piece has been compiled by Nicholas Clarke, the heritage consultant on the project. [Originally published 13 October 2014]

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