Johannesburg City Heritage

ESSELEN STREET CLINIC

Formerly Colin Gordon Nursing Home

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

Blue Plaque Address: 
17 Esselen Street, Hillbrow

Bosman Site

At the age of 21, Herman Charles Bosman was condemned to death for shooting and killing his step-brother here in 1926. After his sentence was commuted, the young school-teacher spent four years in prison, an experience which inspired his book "Cold stone Jug". In the twenty years after his release, Bosman wrote the stories and essays for which he gained fame as a writer.
Blue Plaque Address: 
19 Isipingo Street, Bellevue

Silver Pines

Swiss architect, Theophile Schaerer, designed this residence in 1936 for Bernard Kaumhelmer, a Rand pioneer. His daughter Ellen Hellman, the first anthropologist to study urban black communities and the first South African woman to be awarded a Ph.D., lived here. She was chairperson of the SA Institute of Race Relations and a trustee for the Defence and Aid Fund during the Treason Trials. Schaerer used Art Deco elements and contemporary materials such as raw plaster, reinforced-concrete and steel.
Blue Plaque Address: 
14 1st Avenue Houghton

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