Johannesburg Blue Plaques
J through to M
JEPPE HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS PLAQUE
In January 1919 Headmistress, Miss Cummins, 6 teachers and 200 girls moved out of the co-educational Jeppe High School and on 30 July they moved into their own bold red brick building which has become an imposting landmark on the Kensington Ridge. The school has upheld its motto, Nothing is to difficult for the Brave, for 100 years producing many exceptionally fine woman including Jeanette Curtis Schoon and Ruth First who were both awarded the Order of Luthuli for their role in The Struggle.
JEPPE STREET POWER STATION PLAQUE
Jeppe Street, Newtown
This was the last and largest of three steam driven power stations built in Newtown to supply electricity to Johannesburg. Constructed between 1927 and 1934, it consisted originally of a shorter Turbine Hall and a single ‘North Boiler House’. The Station could not keep up with the city’s demand for electricity, and so, in 1934, the ‘South Boiler House’ was built, and the Turbine Hall extended. However, demand still outstripped supply. In 1942, Orlando Power Station began to take over the supply of electricity to Johannesburg.
JOBUG CONTEMPORARY ART FOUNDATION PLAQUE
In the 1930s the City’s Engineer’s Department built this substation in warm red brick laid in Dutch-bond, replacing an earlier building. It also served the tram network that ran from town to Zoo Lake and Rosebank between 1906 and 1961. Its transformation by studioMAS and JCAF in 2018 was achieved bu subtle means and with only two significant additions: a glass box linking two buildings, and a dramatic steel portico that rises from the tracks on which trams were once guided into it.
JOHANNESBURG CBD - CHARLES AND ISABELLE LIPP Plaque
South-west corner of Simmonds and Fox Streets, Johannesburg.
In 1898 Charles Lipp was appointed Manager of the Johannesburg branch of the African Banking Corporation, whose offices were on this corner. When war broke out in 1899 between Britain and the Z.A.R. Charles and his wife, Isabelle, both British subjects, required permits to remain in Johannesburg. They sent their children away and moved into the top floor of the Bank.
Charles worked by day, but had to patrol at night with the Rus-en-Orde Committee. Isabelle kept a detailed diary of events up to the handing-over of Johannesburg to British forces on 31 May 1900 on Government Square, three blocks to the east.
JONAS GWANGWA PLAQUE
812 Herby Mdingi Street
JULIWE CEMETERY PLAQUE
In this cemetery lie the remains of residents of Juliwe Location, established in the early 1900s. By 1959, the cemetery contained the graves of some 3 000 adults and 2 635 infants. African residents of Roodepoort West were removed to Dobsonville, and their Location destroyed from 1956-1967, but they resisted the removal of the cemetery, which they insisted should remain as a sacred memorial.
KINGSWAY MANSIONS PLAQUE
This landmark building is a fine example of residential units of the late 1920’s, featuring Cape and classical design elements in the decoration of the gables and balconies. Tenants included members of the JOhannesburg Country Club, and show-business personalities involved in radio and later TV productions at the SABC. The architect was P. Rogers Cooke, who went on to design Art Deco buildings in central Johannesburg, and theatres around the country.
KITSON HOUSE PLAQUE
4 Loch Avenue, Parktown West
Olympic Gold Medallist at London in 1908 and Stockholm in 1912, and an outstanding tennis player, Henry Harry Austin Kitson worked in the Land and Deeds Department of Rand Mines Ltd. He served with the Cape Mounted Rifles in the Anglo Boer War, bought Cottage No 3 in the “Eckstein Compound” and later bought and moved into Cottage No 2 in 1918. The Cottages were designed by H. Baker and Masey to attract white-collar workers in the gold mining industry. The house remained in the family until 1998.
KLEINE SCHUUR PLAQUE
10 Rhodes Avenue, Parktown West
Kleine Schuur, the “perfect cottage”, set the style for Rhodes Avenue in 1910. It was designed by Baker and Fleming for artist/cartoonist Denis Santry. Santry presumably chose the name mockingly referring to the difference between himself and Cecil John Rhodes for whom Baker had built Groote Schuur. Santry’s political satire, much of it focused on World War I, was created in the studio within the steeply-pitched roof. He left in 1918 for Singapore to work as an architect. The next owner was J.A. Ashburnham, Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg.
KLIPTOWN MUSEUM PLAQUE
Walter Sisulu Square, Union Street, Kliptown
Crowds watched the adoption of the Freedom Charter from the roof of Jada’s Hardware, now converted to a museum
L. RON HUBBARD HOUSE PLAQUE
Plaque for L Ron Hubard House
40 Hannaben Street
From 1960 to 1961 this property was home to L. Ron Hubbard, author, humanitarian and founder of Scientology. It has been restored to this period and displays many of Hubbard’s personal artefacts & achievements. Designed by Frank L. Jarrett in 1951 for a Greek timber merchant, Manos Broulidakis, the house is an excellent example of post-War Modernism with its bold flying roof, rusticated and recessed slasto base, and dramatic form created through the articulation of different functions using the steepness of the ridge slope.
LANGLAAGTE STAMP BATTERY PLAQUE
Commissioner Street, Johannesburg
Stamp mills were used to crush gold bearing rock in the early days of mining. This 10-stamp battery went into operation at the Robinson Mine in Langlaagte in 1886, making it one of the earliest stamp mills on the Witwatersrand. In 1912 mine owner Sir Joseph Robinson ordered officials to bury the stamp mill in a slimes dump. Following Sir Joseph’s death in 1929, the stamp was salvaged after a long search. It was refurbished and exhibited at the 1937 Empire Exhibition after which it was donated to the City Council. It was erected in George Harrison Park where it remained until 2003 when it was damaged in a fire. In 2004 the stamp was reconstructed and moved to the Main Street Mining Mall.
LAURISTON COURT PLAQUE
LINDFIELD HOUSE MUSEUM PLAQUE
Filled with memorabilia amassed by generations of women, the museum was founded by Katharine Love and from a family collection of Victorian and Edwrdian furniture, household and decorative items typical of middle class professional people of the time. The collection is housed in a 1910 residence from the Herbert Baker school of architecture, with additions by A.J. Marshall and Nelly Edwards, the first known woman architect in Johannesburg.
LION SHUL DOORNFONTEIN PLAQUE
The Synagogue, an impressive souvenir of Jewish Doornfontein, was built in 1906 to serve the growing Jewish community. The architect was M.J. Harris, son of Johannesburg’s first rabbi, M.L. Harris. The architecture is eclectic, combining western Mannerist columns with Lithuanian domes thus evoking memories of the homelands of this immigrant community. The Lions respresent the Lion of Judah, whose name signifies Praise of God, while the young lions indicate strength, courage and vitality.
LODIRILE LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOL PLAQUE
Opened in 1956, this was the first school in Dobsonville for learners forcibly removed from the Roodepoort West Location, known as Juliwe. The school has produced great achievers including author Zakes Mda and Dr K.O.P.Matseke. The first principal Mr Ramasodi, his staffand successors did much to develop young minds, even under the oppressive conditions of apartheid. The original school building remains, with additional classrooms added over the years.
LUTHERAN CHURCH PLAQUE
Site Installation 12 December 2011
MANDELA'S PLACE PLAQUE
46 7th Avenue, Alexandra
Madiba’s first home in Johannesburg, when he came in 1941 to work as a law clerk.
MARKHAM'S BUILDING PLAQUE
7253 Thabete Street, Orlando West, Soweto
Built in 1897 Markham’s, the mining town’s tallest building, expressed confidence in the future. This premier gentlemen’s outfitters symbolises the city’s retail history and remains a landmark in space and time. The 1978 public outcry and the efforts of the joint heritage organizations’ together with the city council saved the building from demolition.
MARY FITZGERALD SQUARE PLAQUE
Bree and Jeppe Streets, off End street, Newtown
The Square was originally a wagon site on which many strikers’ meetings were held. It was named after the activist Mary Fitzgerald in 1939. A militant defender of womens’ rights, she became known as Pickhandle Mary and was a leading figure in the strikes of 1911 to 1914. She became organiser of the Industrial Womens’ League, President of the international branch of the Workers of the World and, in the early 1920’s, Deputy Mayor of Johannesburg. Throughout the 20th Century, the Square continued to be a popular meeting place for political, community, cultural and worker organisations. The tradition continues to this day.
MBUYISA MAKHUBU PLAQUE
Mbuyisa Makhubu became the most recognised face of the mass shooting of students by police on June 16 1976. The agonised figure of Mbuyisa, aged 18, appeared carrying the murdered Hector Pieterson in the iconic photograph taken by Sam Nzima. After the photograph was published around the world, Mbuyisa was forced to flee South Africa. He was given refuge in Nigeria, but disappeared in 1979, and his whereabouts remain unknown.
MELVILLE KOPPIES CAVE PLAQUE
Melville Koppies Entrance Judith Road
This cave is a fissure formed between 2,9 billion-year-old quartzite rocks of what is now the Melville Koppies Ridge. For hundreds of years the cave provided a shelter for the people living around and moving across this area.
The site was excavated in 1971. An analysis of the archaeological remains found in the cave suggests that, as early as 1 500 A.D., farming communities made use of all the resources the area had to offer. When supplies dwindled they supplemented their diet with wild plants and hunted wild animals.
MINER'S MONUMENT PLAQUE
Corner Rissik and Smit Streets, Braamfontein
The monument to the mining industry by sculptor David McGregor pays tribute to Johannesburg’s mining origins. The group of gold miners represents a typical underground team of 1935. They face west towards Langlaagte where the Main Reef was discovered in 1886. The artwork symbolizes the contribution of the mining industry to the wealth and prosperity of South Africa. It was also intended as a peoples’ monument and celebrates the working people who built the city. The Transvaal and Orange Free State Chamber of Mines presented the sculpture to the City of Johannesburg in 1964.
MINER'S PLAQUE PLAQUE
Black mineworkers were involved in gold mining in Johannesburg from 1886, but were excluded from the trade unions by white miners and later by apartheid laws, so it was only in December 1982 that the National Union of Mineworkers was formed. This building was constructed in 1934 for Hubert Davies and Company which imported, manufactured and installed engineering equipment and machinery for industry and the mines throughout Southern Africa. Founded in 1894 by J Hubert Davies, a consulting engineer from Scotland who had come to the Rand in1889, the company’s first big projects were the electrification of various mines.
MOSES TLADI PPS PLAQUE
6 Anerley Road, Parktown 2193
Join Our Mailing List
Please enter your details in the boxes below to subscribe.