Last week the the architectural and heritage communities of South Africa heard the sad news that Sidney Abramowitch had passed away. Abramowitch was one of the stars of the architectural world for many decades. Along with his partners, he built up a large and successful firm that designed many landmarks across our cities.
I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with him for several hours in 2010. The building he seemed most proud of was Innes Chambers on Pritchard Street in Johannesburg (designed in 1960). For a while he was very worried that the building would become another victim of demolition by neglect but thankfully it was brought back to life in 2015.
Innes Chambers before restoration (The Heritage Portal)
Another aspect of our talk that remains in my mind was Abramowitch chatting about a major project identifying buildings of architectural and historical significance across the Transvaal. The project was run by the Heritage Committee of the Institute of Architects over five years and Abramowitch played a prominent role. The result was a list of 600 heritage buildings.
Brochure that was produced by Heritage Committee of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Farewell to a man who fought tirelessly to preserve our built environment heritage! My thoughts are with his family and friends during this tough time.
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