Johannesburg Blue Plaques

D through to H

DESMOND TUTU PLAQUE

 

Address

DYKENEUK PLAQUE

14 Katoomba Street, Kensington

DYSART HOUSE (formerly ABBERTON) Plaque

 

Sherborne Road

Christopher William Dix, an Australian, married Emily Pilditch and they came to the Rand in 1895. He joined the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association in 1901, later becoming its secretary. The WNLA recruited black mine workers. for the mines.  Designed for them by Baker and Fleming in 1911 the house is dominated by the sweep of its beautiful Broseley tiled roof with the tall chimneys flanking the ridge. Mr Dix died in 1916 aged 48, leaving his wife and two daughters who later sold the house to Dr JCG MacNab, a  medical doctor from Scotland. He changed the name, and in 1918 added the west wing to accommodate his six children and lived here until 1934 when it was converted into a residential hotel.

Home of EDOARDO VILLA - KEW PLAQUE

 

73- Fourth Street

Our most famous sculptor arrived in South Africa as a prisoner of war yet chose to remain.
Trained as an artist in Italy, from 1959 Villa produced the majority of his works in his studio on this property. In 1968, three years after marrying Claire Zafirakos, the couple moved into their new home, this distinctive house, designed by their friend, architect Ian McLennan.

Edoardo Villa died here in 2011 aged 95.

EIKENLAAN Plaque

 

St. Andrew’s Road / St David’s Place: Mike’s Kitchen

The house is named after the avenue of oak trees planted by the first owner, James F Goch, who was born in 1857 in Swellendam. It was designed in 1904 by J.S. Donaldson, with the generous proportions, steeply pitched roof and open veranda favoured in warm colonial climates. James Goch came to the Rand in 1886 and by 1892 he had opened a photographic studio in Pritchard Street as well as a Watchmakers and Jewellers shop, yet his fortune was made from property deals.

ENGINEERING WORKSHOPS PLAQUE

Solomon Street

In 1905 the Town Council established Workshops for the Town Engineer, which were extended in 1908 to house heavy machinery. In 1940 the City Engineer’s workshops were again extended, including training facilities for artisans. The restructuring of the Metropolitan Council in 2002 made the City Engineer’s Department redundant, and in 2006 the headquarters for the City’s Library and Information Services moved into the workshops.

ESSELEN STREET CLINIC PLAQUE - Formerly Colin Gordon Nursing Home

Hillbrow

This is the work of a highly inventive architect who rejected the rational approach, choosing to express emotion in his buildings. In 1941 Wilhelm B Pabst designed a bastion against dread disease using imagery from a castle. There are surgical cuts to be endured, a battery of injections, life hangs by a thread. Curves, squares, rectangles are all involved. There is nothing simple about disease, but medicine triumphs and over-sails the site boundaries with the array of balconies and the great Oriel window

ETUNZINI PLAQUE

 

2 Federation Road

FAIRVIEW FIRE TOWER

Bezuidenhout Farmhouse
Bezuidenhout Park

Built by Voortrekker Barend Viljoen and his wife Judith in 1852 as a simple rectangle, the house became the property of their son-in-law Frederik Jacobus Bezuidenhout, in 1863. The bay window was added in the 1890s, and a north wing in 1910. His son lived here until he sold the farmstead to the City for a park in 1949.  During the Anglo-Boer War, the British used the farmstead with its grazing as a remount camp at which horses were acclimatised.

FATHER TREVOR PLAQUE

Address

 

FAIRVIEW FIRE TOWER PLAQUE

 

Commissioner Street, Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s first fire station was completed on this site in 1906.The thirty-five metre tower was used as a lookout for spotting fires before the advent of telecommunications and also for drying out fire hoses which were hung in the tower. When the station was re-built in the early 1980s, only the watchtower was kept. It is Johannesburg’s only remaining fire tower and the highest of a group of towers in the area.

FOREST HIGH SCHOOL PLAQUE

 

In 1919, The Technical High School, the only one of it’s kind, opened its doors to boys from all over South Africa. It had started in wood and iron buildings in Plein Square under Headmaster JJB Reesbefore moving to this site. In 1926 itchanged to an academic school named Forest High School and girls were admitted. for the first time. The elegant original building was designed under Chief Architect of Public Works, JS Cleland, with durable materials and fine brickwork.

FONTENAY PLAQUE

 Address

This estate was developed around the original house, MEADOWBROOK. Hanson, Tomkin, and Finkelstein designed the Spanish-style house in 1934 for Harold Jeppe and his wife, Cicely (nee Marais). He was managing director of SA Townships Mining and Finance Corporation, had other business interests and later ran the Litchi Art Gallery in the City.

THE FRIEDENSKIRCHE LUTHERAN CHURCH PLAQUE

Hillbrow Friedenskirche
Edith Cavell Street

The Friedenskirche (“Church of Peace”) dates from 1912, built to house a German congregation formed in Johannesburg in 1888. Designed by Theodore Schaerer using kopje stone and rising from the ridge its distinctive Bavarian bell-tower was familiar to the German immigrants, many of them living in cosmopolitan Hillbrow. The Church was declared a National Monument in 1986

FOXWOOD HOUSE, (PIETER DE VOS) PLAQUE

13 5th St, Houghton

GANDHI FAMILY HOUSE PLAQUE

11 Albermarie Street, Troyeville

Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi lived here from 1904 to 1906 together with his wife Kasturba and sons Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. They shared the house with Henry Polak, Gandhi’s friend and colleague in his law office. In 1905 they were joined by Polak’s wife Millie, who describes the house in her book on Gandhi:

“The house was situated in a fairly good middle-class neighbourhood, on the outskirts of town. It was a double-storeyed, detached, eight-roomed building of the modern villa type, surrounded by a garden, and having in front the open spaces of the koppies.The upstairs verandah was roomy enough to sleep on it, and indeed in warm weather it was often so used”.

GANNOCHY PLAQUE

6 Barkly Road

Designed for J.R.A Hay in 1915 by Percival Hill Mitchelson in the Arts and Crafts tradition with ground floor in red brick and contrasting first floor in rough-cast plaster, the house is named after  a district in Perth, Scotland, Hay’s birthplace. I n 1961 it was home to journalist and historian A.P. Cartwright, and in 1988 Bruce Fordyce moved in with his family. Nine times winner of the Comrades Marathon and several ultra long- distance races internationally , Fordyce popularised parkr un s enabling  people to run freely in a safe green environment.

 

GERHARD MOERDIJK 1890-1958 PLAQUE

29 Durris Road Forest Town

Moerdijk studied architecture in Europe before opening a practice in Johannesburg in 1918. Married the same year, he designed this house and lived here from 1919 until he moved to Pretoria in 1924. Using local materials where possible, the design incorporates different gables and many types of food finishes in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts tradition. He became highly influential as a leading Afrikaans architect, committed to developing a style of architecture appropriate and peculiar to South Africa. He designed numerous important buildings including The Johannesburg Station (which Gordon Leith), the Voortrekker Monument, Libertas and more than eighty Dutch Reformed Churches throughout South Africa.

 

Home of HASTINGS NDLOVU PLAQUE

 

7253 Thabete Street, Orlando West, Soweto

A 17 year old learner at Orlando North Secondary School, Hastings Ndlovu was among the first victims killed by the police on June 16 1976. That morning he led a group of students towards the bridge in Khumalo Street, where they met with police from Orlando Police Station led by Colonel Kleingeld. Here Hastings was shot at, and later died at Baragwanath hospital. During the hearings of the Cilie Commission, Kleingeld claimed that Hastings “was inciting the crowd”.

HELEN SUZMAN PLAQUE

13 Eton Road Parktown

Fighter for justice and human rights, Helen Suzman (nee Gavronsky) lived in the original house on this stand until her marriage in 1937. She was awarded the Order of Merit (Gold) South Africa in 1995 for her 38 years’ struggle as a Member in the white South African Parliament.

“Her courage, integrity and principal committment to justice have marked her as one of the outstanding figures in our history”. (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)

HOME OF LETTA MBULU PLAQUE

Address

This is the family home of inernational recording artist Letta Mbulu. She began her career at the age of 13 performing with the Swanky Spots at the DOnaldson Hall. During 26 years of exile in the United States, she toured extensively, becoming a cultural activist. Her musical collaborators include Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Cannonball Adderley, and her husband Caiphus Semenya.

Unveiled on Heritage Day 24 September 2018, to mark the 75th birthday of Letta Mbulu.

HOUSE LAIN (SIEGO WOUTERS) PLAQUE

 

16 Eighth Avenue, Houghton

HOME OF LETTA MBULU PLAQUE

 

Address

This is the family home of international recording artist Letta Mbulu. She began her career at the age of 13 performing with the Swanky Spots at the Donaldson Hall. During 26 years of exile in the United States, she toured extensively, becoming a culturist activist. Her musical collaborators include Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Cannonball Adderley, and her husband Caiphus Semenya. Unveiled on Heritage Day, 24 September 2018, to mark the 75th birthday of Letta Mbulu.

HOUSE MARKS PLAQUE

Address

HOUSE NOORDHOEK PLAQUE

11 7th Avenue Houghton

 

HOUSE NORMANDIE PLAQUE

15 4th Street Lower Houghton

HOUSE SCHABORT PLAQUE

Address

HOUSE SUZMAN, (COLIN WASSERFALL) PLAQUE

14 8th Ave Lower, Houghton

HUGH MASAKELA 1939 - 2018 PLAQUE

14 8th Ave Lower, Houghton

Hugh Ramapola Masakela distinguished trumpeter, flugelhornist, singer, composer and advocate for African heritage, lived here. In three decades of exile, his music became a symbol of the country’s anti-apartheid movement. He pioneerd his unique his South African- Influenced style of jazz, and fuzed it with music from across the African continent and its diaspora. His hits include “Grazing In The Grass” (1968), “Bring Him Back Home” (1987) and “Stimela” (1974).

HUGH SOLOMON BUILDING PLAQUE

 

Address

Designed by Gilbert St John Cottrill in 1904, this was the first Nurses’ Home for the General Hospital. In 1926 a new wing was added, and in 1936 a new hall and dining-hall were completed by Gordon Leith. It was named after the Chairman of the Hospital Board from 1930-1955. Dress regulations, training and deportment for the nurses were very strict. In 2006 it was refurbished as the headquarters of the Hillbrow Health Precinct

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