01/31/2020 - 00:00

Johannesburg Heritage has available on sale and as a fundraiser the important Johannesburg book by Gerhard-Mark van der Waal: From Mining camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886- 1940. This copy once belonged to Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company (JCI) - property division. There is a book plate of the JCI and that association adds value as JCI was the Barnato established property development company and mining house of prominence.



Published by Chris van Rensburg publications for the Human Sciences Research Council in 1987. I think this was the first and only edition. The book is in mint condition with dust wrapper and protective cellophane wrapping.

It's an essential reference source on Johannesburg's architectural history for the period 1886 to 1940. There is a comprehensive notes and references section, a list of the author's sources (a good bibliography) and an index. The book is rich in black and white and sepia toned photographs, sketch plans and maps. The end papers are worth studying, it's an unusual central city streets plan and small images of the principal early buildings over the decade 1887 to 1897. The arrangement of the book is chronological. The chapters are Mining camp, Victorian Mining town, Edwardian Industrial City  and the Modern Metropolis.   

This book is a cornerstone book of my Johannesburg library. Along with the two Chipkin volumes I would rank this book as one of the five most important books on Johannesburg (click here to read my review). Van der Waal was meticulous, thorough and comprehensive. He engaged with inner city business, mining house and banking properties, institutions such as schools, churches and government buildings, theatres and cinemas and suburban homes. It's a book of its time as the project started as a study for van der Waal's Masters thesis at the Rand Afrikaans University and later became a research project undertaken at the request of the Johannesburg City Council and later publication was made possible by the HSRC. 

In summary it was a spatially oriented study of the architecture of Johannesburg during its first 54 years. It was a pioneering work that became a standard reference work and has become a classic book on Johannesburg. 

Price: R800

Email Kathy Munro if you would like to buy the book - kathy@zimstone.co.za

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 08:18

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