ABLEWIKI:802 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria

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GISKEY Unknown
Condition Exterior and overall structure is in good condition. Certain interior spaces are of poor condition such as the floors and ceilings.
Date of origin Unknown. The building was built before 1928
Previous names The building was previously used as a house and was later given to Pretoria Girl's High School. It was then called St. Alban's Hostel. 
Place The building is located on the corner of Farenden and Pretorius Street across the rose park in Arcadia.
Street 802 Pretorius Street 
Town Pretoria 
Magisterial district Tswane 
Province Gauteng
Country South Africa 
GPS coordinates -25.745361, 28.220294
Planning authority name
Architect/Firm Unknown 
Project architect/Designer Unknown 
Commissioning owner Unknown
Current owner Pretoria Girl's High School
Current occupant There are currently no occupants living in this building.
Previous uses It was previously used as a private residence and later became a girls' hostel. 
Current use Residential, Currently used as a hostel 
Classification/Typology Residential, Hostel

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Contents

Significance

The building is important because some features have been kept in the building such as the motifs on the ceiling and cornice, the fireplaces and even some of the early electrical fixings. The Victorian inlfuences (porch, veranda, roof, etc) also add importance to the building because it indicates inlfluences from Britain into South African architecture. Many young girls have lived in this building and it has value for Pretoria Girls' High School because of the history that lies in it.

Current known heritage status

According to the National Heritage Act, a building or site that is older than 60 years is a protected site. This buildings is more than 60 years old, therefore it is a protected site.

Possible interested and affected parties

Pretoria Girl's High School

History 

The building was origanally owned by the Holy Christ Church next door and given to a woman. The house was then given in 1928 to Pretoria Girls' High School as an off-campus hostel for the young girls. In 2008 it was closed and no longer used as an off-campus hostel.

Description of alterations with dates affected

Wings were added on either side of the original house to accommodate the girls who were to use the hostel . A storage room was added behind the original building. Servants’ quarters, a laundrette and a chapel were added onto the site. A tennis court and a swimming pool were also added for recreational purposes.

Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces

Exterior

The buildings are on a large plot of land and are set back on the plot allowing for a large front yard. There are tennis courts and a swimming pool on the property. The buildings have been clustered close to one another. The main building has victorian influences while the additions are much newer.

The main building and the added buildings are masonary with some areas that have been plastered and others left as facebrick. The exposed brickwork have been patterned. The main building has a stoep in the front and a veranda in the back. The roof is pointed and sharply angled. 

The storage building is behind the original buliding and is in a very poor condition. The roof is corrugated and the timber beams inside have been exposed. 

The laundrette on the side of the original building is also in poor condition. It has a little corrugated veranda.

A small chapel was also built for the hostel. It is a masonry extension to the main building. There are arched windows with coloured glass. There is an arched entrance that leads to an arched timber door.

Interior:

The three-storey building consists of mostly small rooms with motifs on the ceiling, cornices and wood floors.

There is a kitchen that has been fitted with stainless steel equipment and the floors are of vinyl tiles.

The foyer has original wooden floors. A large wooden entrance door is surrounded by coloured glass windows. In the foyer is a wooden staircase. The balustrades have been carved and stylized. The ceiling has also been motifed.

The tearoom is situated just past the kitchen and adjacent to the foyer. It has a fireplace with a wooden mantel and a cast iron furnace. Carpeting covers the original wood flooring. Beneath the large windows are wooden window seats. The walls are thick and have shelving recessed into them. The ceiling is motifed and there are decorated ceiling cornices and skirting boards. There are electrical conduits that are no longer in use.

Another room (may have originally been a dining room) to the left of the foyer also has a motif ceiling and large windows with window seats. The fireplace in this room has a wooden mantel and also has marble. The original wooden floors have been carpeted. The door in this room has oval doorknobs that are quite low on the door.

The bedrooms in the original building still have their original wooden floors. The ceilings are motifed and have cornices. Some of the rooms have ceilings of gypsum board. They have smallish windows with clay tile sills. The rooms are spacious and have high ceilings. There are mezzanine levels. Some of the rooms that have been converted to be used as hostel rooms have carpets over the timber flooring. Certain rooms also have niches with windows set in them.

The wings added to the original building are masonry constructions and have low ceilings. The bathrooms in these wings have ceramic and vinyl tiles. 
 

Links

Sources

Simon the caretaker

google maps, 25 April 2011, google maps, http://maps.google.co.za/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

Photos 

Main building
Backyard with veranda
Front yard
Swimming pool
 
Front facade
 
Wooden front door with coloured glass in foyer
 
Staircase with wooden balustrade
Door with oval handle
Bedroom with niche
Cast iron fireplace with wooden mantel
 
Ceiling
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