Durban Art Deco: Heritage of a Sub-tropical African City (ISBN 978062094456) has been published by the Durban Art Deco Society (DADS). DADS comprises a small group of dedicated and knowledgeable enthusiasts who work to document, conserve and save Durban’s extraordinary Art Deco architectural legacy. The society was founded in 1999 and encourages members to share their knowledge and expertise. It also advises owners on conservation and maintenance.
This book presents the fruits of their photographic and archival research. Visually engaging and with interesting information about a selection of Art Deco buildings in different city locations serving different purposes. The opening chapters set the context and provide the tools for making the most of the many Art Deco treasures of the city. Four chapters present nearly 30 fine architectural examples that can still be visited in the city, down on the beachfront, across the Berea and around Grey Street. Buildings such as Colonial Mutual Life, Grandborough Court and lesser know deco gems around Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street (Grey Street) are highlighted.
One chapter laments the lost deco buildings of Durban and here the best that can be done is to record and remember buildings pulverised to dust such as the Old Mutual building, Westgard House and the Natal Building Society. The book is well researched, has an index and a useful map. Deco buildings are a living memorial to the architects of the interwar period of the 20th century.
There are many coloured pictures, though I wished the colour reproduction had been sharper. This study will be keenly sought for University and heritage libraries. DADS is a small independent society and reliant on limited funds so a publication is to be doubly lauded.
Surrey Mansions (Kathy Munro)
- The first print run has already been sold out to DADS members. More copies will be printed so get your order in speedily. Drop an email to Carol Allan, email@example.com
- Price R250 - R350 depending on postage / distribution
Kathy Munro - October 2021
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