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Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 18:59

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

This building never fails to intrigue visitors to Johannesburg. It was once part of a larger building that was demolished in the 1990s. I assume the plan was to incorporate the corner tower and dome into a larger building but this never materialised. I was lucky enough to get inside a few years back. The staircase dominates the tower and is spectacular!


View of the staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)


Staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


The remaining tower and dome (The Heritage Portal)


Portion of scanned advertisement for Siemans (South African Who's Who 1927-1928 - Submitted to Artefacts by William Martinson)


Rand Club

After a few years of uncertainty, the Rand Club is thriving once again. Proud members have transformed the 1904 landmark into a sought after events venue. The building is magnificent when seen from the street but even more impressive when you get inside. The main staircase is definitely a wow attraction!


The main staircase (The Heritage Portal)


Another view of the staircase (The Heritage Portal)



The Rand Club (The Heritage Portal)


San Remo

San Remo is located in Yeoville and was designed by the famous architect Harold Le Roith in 1937. The staircase is awesome as you can see from the photos below.


San Remo staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)


San Remo staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


San Remo (The Heritage Portal)


John Moffat Building

The John Moffat Building, home to the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits, is a modern movement icon. It was designed by John Fassler in 1957. Students are privileged to be able to learn their craft in an amazing building and to see this staircase every day.


John Moffat Staircase (The Heritage Portal)


John Moffat Building (The Heritage Portal)


Students relaxing inside the building (The Heritage Portal)


Joki House

Joki House (1935) was the first house in South Africa designed by the famous architect, Wilhelm Bernard Pabst. It is located in Frederick Drive, Northcliff. When visitors enter the house they are drawn towards this beautiful oregon and rattan staircase.


Joki House Staircase (Cas Nel)


Joki House (Cas Nel)


Joki House (Cas Nel)


Natal Bank

Joburg's oldest surviving bank building has been brought back to life and the main staircase is looking more beautiful than ever. The building was planned in the 1890s and completed in 1903. In additon to the main wooden staircase there is a wonderful fan staircase in the building.


Main wooden staircase (The Heritage Portal)


Fan staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)


Fan staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


Natal Bank on the left (The Heritage Portal)


Manners Mansions

Manners Mansions is located opposite Ansteys on the corner of Rahima Moosa (Jeppe) and Joubert Streets. It was designed by the well known firm Emley and Williamson in 1937. The staircase feels like it goes up forever. Ansteys also has a wonderful staircase but I don't have a great photo so it doesn't make my list (for now).


Staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


Staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)



Manners Mansions (The Heritage Portal)


Masonic Temple Parktown

The Masonic Temple was designed by Gordon Leith in 1954. If you get the chance it is definitely worth a visit. The staircase is up there with the Rand Club in terms of grandness.


Staircase at the Masonic Temple (The Heritage Portal)


Another shot of the staircase (The Heritage Portal)


And another (The Heritage Portal)


Masonic Temple Parktown (The Heritage Portal)


Villa Arcadia

Villa Arcadia is one of Joburg's landmark heritage homes. It was designed by Herbert Baker for Lionel and Florence Phillips in 1909. The staircase is majestic!


The bottom steps (The Heritage Portal)


Staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


Staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)


Villa Arcadia (The Heritage Portal)


City Hall / The Gauteng Legislature

The Joburg City Hall (today the Provincial Legislature) was designed by the firm Hawke & McKinlay in 1910 and completed in 1914. The interiors are exceptionally grand and the staircase is no exception.


Staircase from below (The Heritage Portal)


A hint of the staircase from above (The Heritage Portal)


City Hall at dusk (The Heritage Portal)


Please add photos of your favourite staircases in the comments section below or email me (jamesball01@gmail.com) and I'll add them.


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