HASA Archive

In the article below, James Walton tells the story of the soap houses of the Karoo and their importance to the local economy for many years. The article was first published in the 1983 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 wonderful article below, James Walton traces the journey of Johannes Cornelius Poortermans through the Piquetberg. The piece first appeared in the October 1982 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, Dr J. Pringle tells the inspiring story of the preservation of the St Johns Presbyterian Church clock in Pietermaritzburg. The piece was first published in the 1980 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.

It has been about four decades since the people of Johannesburg rallied to put pressure on the Johannesburg City Council and the Foschini Group to save the Markhams Building from demolition. The article below, written by J Campbell-Pitt representing the then Transvaal Institute of Arhitects, reveals the architectural and historical significance of the building. The piece was published in the August 1979 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation.

In the article below, Frank R Bradlow looks at the architectural and historical significance of the Old Synagogue in Cape Town. The piece first appeared in the 1980 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 for giving us permission to publish.

The old Durban Railway Station is a much-loved landmark that plays a key role in Durban's tourism offering. It is hard to imagine there was a time when the powers that be planned to demolish the structure and redevelop the site. The article below which appeared in the Sunday Tribune on 10 October 1976, begins by describing the threat to the building and then highlights its architectural and historical significance. Thankfully the façade of the building was saved with a new office building built behind.

The short article below, written by an unknown author, tells the story of the restoration of the Old Ireland Building (Edgars) on Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. The piece appeared in the 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 short article below, an unknown author explores a few blue plaques in Cape Town including one commemorating Herbert Baker's last building in South Africa. The piece appeared in the 1978 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation. today the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA). Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

Below is a short but fascinating history of the whaling industry in South Africa. It was compiled by C De Jong and first published in the 1976 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 this article, first published in 1976, Patricia Storrar does a masterly job debunking the myth that George Rex, the founder of Knysna, was the illegitimate son of King George III. She also reveals fascinating biographical information on Rex and provides details of the spaces and places associated with him. The article was published in Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the Univerity of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

In the article below, Norah Henshilwood traces the early history of Claremont and reveals some of her memories of the suburb. The piece first appeared in the 1976 edition of 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 (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

The following history of Johannesburg's early markets formed part of a much larger piece on the Market Theatre which appeared in the 1976 edition of Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). The name of the author does not appear which is a huge shame for such a well researched article. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

In the article below, Esme Lownds uncovers some interesting snippets about James Stopworth and Barberton during its early days. The article first appeared in the 1975 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

If you page through archive copies of Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation, one company has a regular presence as an advertiser: Gordon Verhoef & Krause. Below are adverts from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s showing significant restoration projects from around the country that the firm was proud to be involved in. Look closely for details. Thank you to the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) and the University of Pretoria for giving us permission to publish.

 

The last few years have not been kind to the Gately House Museum in East London. Due to ongoing security problems the museum is no longer open to the public and artefacts have been relocated for safekeeping (click here for details). Despite the depressing current situation it is fascinating to look at some of the history of the house and the battle to save it a half a century ago.

Below is an absorbing and practical article looking at lettering on buildings. It was compiled by Dennis Radford for the October 1988 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.

We are honoured to publish this wonderful archive piece on the early history of Uitenhage. It was compiled by well known heritage practitioner Albrecht Herholdt and apperared in the 1988 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 1991 edition of Restorica, significant space was dedicated to the debate over the Civic Spine project. The overview of the controversy has already been published on The Heritage Portal (click here to view). In this piece, the voice of the architects is brought to the fore. Thank you to the University of Pretoria and the Heritage Association of South Africa for giving us permission to publish.

From 1989-1991 a major project unfolded in the historic centre of Johannesburg. It was known as the Civic Spine Project and aroused considerable debate. Below is an article from the 1991 edition of Restorica which looks at arguments on all sides of the controversy. Thank you to the University of Pretoria and the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) for giving us permission to publish.

In 1996 Michael Scurr penned the following article on the restoration of the Old Cape Archives (today the Centre for the Book). It was published in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation. Thank you to the University of Pretoria and the Heritage Association of South Africa for giving us permission to publish.

Forest Hall is an historic estate located in The Crags near Plettenberg Bay. It hosts a spectrum of high end functions including grand weddings and corporate events (click here for some recent pics). In the article below, first published in Restorica in 1977, Patricia Storrar delves into the history of this unique property. Thank you to the Heritage Association of South Africa and the University of Pretoria for giving us permission to publish.

In the following article Patricia Storrar provides a brief history of the Harker graves in Plettenberg Bay. The piece was published in the 1977 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 1983 J. G. Brand, City Engineer of Cape Town, penned this brief article about Government Avenue, the oldest pedestrian thoroughfare in South Africa. The piece appeared in the 1983 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 Cathy Robertson tells the story of the meticulous restoration of Onze Molen in Durbanville in the mid 1980s. The article was first published in the 1986 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.

Dr Bruno Werz from the African Institute for Marine and Underwater Research, Exploration and Education (AIMURE) is leading a team to try and find the wreck of the Haerlam (or Haarlam) - click here for details. The wrecking of the Haerlam is recognised by many as the catalyst that led to the establishment of a refreshment station which later developed into the City of Cape Town. In 1975 Mervyn Emms used various archival sources to estimate the location of the wreck.

One of the most striking buildings in Port Elizabeth is the famous Campanile. In the article below, Tennyson Smith Bodill reveals the history behind the creation of this remarkable structure. The piece was originally published in the April 1989 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.

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the great South African adaptive reuse case studies. Below is an in depth article on the work conducted during the first phase of this landmark project (completed 1990/1). The piece appeared in the 1992 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.

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).

Below is another gem of an article from the Restorica archive. The piece highlights some interesting aspects of the history of the landmark Cape St Francis Lighthouse. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) and the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) for giving us permission to publish.

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 1979 Elizabeth Lankenhall, Public Relations Officer for Gordon Verhoef and Krause, penned an article for Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). The piece looked at aspects of the history of the landmark Old Town House in Greenmarket Square Cape Town. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (Restorica copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

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.

In 1996 the Christian Science Church in Port Elizabeth was illegally demolished. City Councillor Rory Riorden was furious and penned an article for Restorica which we have republished below. Restorica was 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 following article on the history of the Port Elizabeth Railway Station was originally published in the October 1986 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). It formed part of a larger piece titled "The coming of the Railway to the Cape". Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission 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 article below on the life and achievements of John Thomas Cooper first appeared in a 1983 edition of 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 (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

The article below, compiled by then City Engineer J.G. Brand, appeared in a 1983 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). It provides a fascinating look at the origins and development of the Company's Garden in Cape Town. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

 

An ongoing task for heritage enthusiasts, history teachers, parents and others is to get young people excited about history and heritage. While browsing through the 1982 edition of Restorica, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa), we found a wonderful piece by Dr Ruth E Gordon on this matter. Her advice is still as relevant today as it was then. These days we have a spectrum of technological innovations to help us in this endeavour. We loved the letter from Claire Thompson by the way.

The fascinating article below appeared in the first ever edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). It looks at the building of the Roeland Street Prison and its transformation from 'palace' to rat infested institution. The prison was demolished a few decades ago to make way for what is known today as the Western Cape Archives and Records Service. Part of the outer wall and the old main entrance to the prison have been preserved.

It is hard to imagine that the magnificent Port Elizabeth City Hall was almost demolished. The article below, first published in the Evening Post in January 1973, describes a meeting organised by the Port Elizabeth Historical Society where arguments on both sides of the preservation versus development debate were presented. We stumbled across the article in Bulletin, the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa).

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.

We are very excited to publish this piece on what appears to be South Africa's oldest surviving windmill. The article was written by Ivor Dekenah (note the surname) and appeared in the 1981 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation, known today as the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA). Thank you to the Restorica copyright holders, the University of Pretoria, for giving us permission to publish.

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.

Below is the second part of an article compiled by NZASM expert Robert de Jong in the late 1980s (the Nederlansche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM) was a Dutch company responsible for the construction and administration of many early Transvaal railway lines). The first piece looked at the structures and buildings of the Rand Tram while this one looks at the Southern Line.

Robert De Jong is one of the foremost experts on the Nederlansche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM), a Dutch company responsible for the construction and administration of many early Transvaal railway lines. The following article, which looks at various structures associated with the Rand Tram, appeared in a number of publications in the late 1980s.

The Old Court House Museum is one the oldest buildings in the Durban CBD. It was built in the mid 1860s and has seen its fair share of history as revealed in the following fascinating article by G.W. MacDonald. The article first appeared in Bulletin, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). 

Very little remains of the historic Richardson's Mill in the Trappes Valley 10km north east of Bathurst in the Eastern Cape. Well known local enthusiast Bev Young first saw the structure in 2000 and described it as 'wrecked but visible and the grounds still accessible'. Over the years she has documented what is left of the mill and has watched as things have deteriorated to the point where there is almost nothing left today. The short article below, written by A S Basson, is very tough to read.

In the late 1980s Dr Nic Woolff compiled the article 'Lessons Learned from Restoring the Donkin Row Houses'. It was published in Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). If sentiment on the ground at the moment is anything to go on, the current developer has not learned any lessons and therefore this piece might make depressing reading for members of the heritage community. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish the article.

We are very excited to publish this wonderful article from the Restorica archives (November 1976). M. A. P. Diemont Jr delves into the fascinating history of the design and construction of the old South African Reserve Bank Building in Cape Town. Today the building forms part of the Taj Hotel Complex. Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish. Restorica is the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation, today the Heritage Association of South Africa.

This is the final installment of the special series 'The Story of Vergelegen'. It looks at the restoration undertaken by Anglo American Farms in the early 1990s and mentions a few of the illustrious guests that have visited the estate over the years. The series was based on an article compiled by Wilma de Bruin, editor of Restorica, in 1994. Once again we thank the University of Pretoria and the Heritage Association of South Africa for giving us permission to publish.

Vergelegen was to regain its former splendour with the arrival of Lady Florence (“Florrie”) Phillips and her mining magnate husband, Sir Lionel. A patron of the arts, a lady of great style and impeccable taste she set about restoring the old homestead which at that stage was described as “almost an uninhabitable ruin”.

In 1994 Wilma De Bruin, editor of Restorica, compiled an extraordinary article on the history of the Vergelegen Estate with the title 'Vergelegen: a perfect blend of past and present'. We have transformed this piece into a special series. After a brief introduction, part one looks at the first two centuries at Vergelegen and then tracks the estate’s decline in the early 20th Century under the ownership of Samuel Kerr.

The captivating story below appeared in the 1982 issue of Restorica. It was compiled by Hymie Amoils and traces the origins, history and significance of the Poswohl Synagogue in Mooi Street Johannesburg. We visited this Provincial Heritage Site, now the Promise Land Pub and Restaurant, yesterday and noticed internal alterations taking place. It would be interesting to see if the necessary approvals from the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng (PHRAG) have been secured.

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 article below tells the intriguing story of the foundation stone of the planned but never built Centenary Memorial Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg. The piece was compiled by HSB Humphreys and appeared in the December 1975 edition of Restorica. It would be very interesting to find out where the foundation stone is today. Did it find a suitable home? Has it remained in storage? Has it disappeared?

Below is a short but interesting article about German mercenaries who settled in the Eastern Cape in the 1850s and left behind some fascinating relics. The article appeared in the August 1976 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.

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