We visit a fascinating and little-explored enclave in Johannesburg, full of historic homes, important and interesting residents, and iconic views over the northern suburbs. Our walk starts with the hydrangea drive leading up to House Kuhlman designed by Baker and Masey in 1903, built in 1904 and enlarged in the 1930s. We walk through the lovely garden to the front to meet Mr and Mrs Pagnier who have welcomed us to their beautiful garden and home, and then proceed to the north side to enjoy the magnificent view which goes right across to Northcliff. Descending the ridge, we visit the waterfall terrace before returning to the house to admire the north elevation and going inside to enjoy the woodwork.
Next comes a house designed by Hoogterp on grand scale with an enchanting Parisian flat-pack conservatory – a recent addition. Ridge Road has a number of interesting houses before we venture into Young Avenue, where we encounter the new gates rich in Iranian (Persian) imagery. Young Avenue boasts work by many famous architects in Johannesburg, from Geoffrey Pearse and Gordon Leith to Michael Sutton. Residents include Jack Scott, The Shah of Iran, and Mr Justice Issy Maisels. They lived here in a street lined with jacarandas which are NOT invaded by the beastly beetle.
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Guides: Flo Bird and Denise Alexander
Park: On the street outside 13 Ridge Road, Mountain View
Meet: Outside 13 Ridge Road
Cost: R100 for members, and R170 for non-members
Duration: Approximately 3 hours
Maximum No: 50