The grandly named “New York Steam Laundry, Limited” was established in 1903, and from 1913 occupied a gabled brick building on the corner of Viljoen Street and Victoria Road in Lorentzville, a suburb founded with the promise of a bucolic and salubrious lifestyle, far from the noise and dust of the City, but one that had gradually crept into semi-industrial decay as the wealthy moved north.
Its fortunes mirrored that of the City itself – growing and prospering in the 30’s boom and beyond, and then falling into decay as the suburbs spread further and further away.
But its buildings now have a new lease on life, as “Victoria Yards”, a development that replicates the success of 44 Stanley and Maboneng in bringing creative industries into derelict industrial spaces. In addition to this, the developers are also committed to the cause of urban agriculture, and to the rehabilitation of the Jukskei River, which runs through the site and once provided water to the steam laundry.
Join us on a tour that not only explores the past and future of Victoria Yards, but also the historic urban fabric that surrounds it. Our tour takes place on First Sundays, when studios are open to the public. We start early – at 10am – to allow participants to stay for lunch afterwards if they wish.
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- GUIDES: David Gurney and SJ De Klerk
- PARK: Victoria Yards, between Victoria Road and Frere Road on Viljoen Street, Lorentzville
- MEET: On the corner of Viljoen and Victoria, outside Victoria Yards
- TIME: 10h00
- DURATION: 2.5 hours
- COST: R100 for members and R170 for non-members
- MAXIMUM No: 50