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Established: 1898?


The partnership between W LECK and F EMLEY in Johannesburg; it is not yet certain that the partnership began in 1898 but EMLEY & SCOTT'S partnership ended with SCOTT's departure for Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1898. The partnership between LECK and EMLEY most likely began before the Anglo-Boer War. The seventieth anniversary history of the Rand Club says that 'Four sets of plans for a new Club House had been obtained before the war at a cost of 400 pounds ... the committee ... decided that ... Mr EMLEY's plan was the most suitable and he was selected to prepare the scheme together with Mr LECK, who had been called in as a consultant' (Rand Club 1957: 69). The date of the consultancy seems to refer to 1903, when plans for a new club house were taken up again. Both LECK and EMLEY were well known and established before the partnership commenced. Although LECK was an established architect in Johannesburg before EMLEY, EMLEY had several important clients such as Lionel Phillips. The two worked successfully in Johannesburg from about 1898, the following comment being made about them in 1905: 'we have no hesitation in awarding this firm the premier place in the architectural profession on the Rand' (Commercial and Industrial Transvaal 1905: 6 ,7). After LECK's sudden death, EMLEY continued the practice which eventually became EMLEY & WILLIAMSON.

Buildings such as the third Rand Club Building (1902-1904) and the 'sky-scraper' third Corner House Building (1902-1903) pioneered the Edwardian Grand Manner in Johannesburg. The designs of both, the former British and the latter American in inspiration, were influential buildings of the period in the Transvaal.

(Aron 1972; Greig 1971; FRIBA nom papers (LECK) 1904; Middleton 1910; Picton-Seymour 1977; Praagh 1906; Commercial & Industrial Tvl 1905; SAAE&S Jnl Aug 1906:156-58; Gutsche 1966

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing LECK and EMLEY

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 61, 133-134

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 153, 154

Chapters in books citing LECK and EMLEY

Gardiner, KEF. Corner House, Old: in 1971. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 3 Cal-Dev: pp 439