I have wondered for a while who the man behind the sauve and dashing whatsapp photo is. So, I called coffee, and discovered that heritage architect Brian McKechnie is a down-to-earth, relaxed bloke, passionate about the gracious old buildings in the city and still invested in one of them, Anstey’s in Joubert Street. He laughs when I ask about the photo, saying he was asked to model for Meghan McCabe, who needed images for her photography portfolio.


Johannesburg has dozens of remarkable staircases inside its houses, hotels, offices, churches, fire stations and apartment buildings. Some are well known while others are more obscure. Below are ten of my favourite. Enjoy! Feel free to send through pics of your favourites.

Stewarts and Lloyds Building / Marshdale House

{Originally published 9 March 2015] In a recent newsletter we carried a link to an archived article on the Significance of Northcliff Hill. The response was impressive to say the least with a large number of views and incoming emails. One of the emails we received was from Rod Kruger who sent in a wonderful combination of 'Then and Now' photographs.

This fascinating article appeared in The Star in the lead up to Johannesburg's Centenary Commemorations. It highlights the layers of significance attached to Northcliff Hill previously known as Aasvogel Kop. It is interesting to note the tussle between the forces of preservation and development on the ridge as well as the limited resources of the heritage authorities of the time.

This fantastic article describes Cas Nel's 'Partnership with Pabst' during the restoration of the famous Joki House in the late 1980s. A huge thank you to Cas for sending through the superb photographs.

The partnership approach facilitates the achievement of excellence in architecture. It is an approach in which a spirit of co-operation is the basis. It relies on a partnership of various skills that is synthesized in the process of the project.

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