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Book

Author: Benjamin, Arnold
Year: 1979
Title: Lost Johannesburg
Place: Johannesburg
Publisher: Macmillan South Africa (Publishers) (Pty) Ltd

Lost Johannesburg is a unique record of the city that has vanished - of notable buildings, landmarks and places obliterated in a mere ninety-odd years. Johannesburg's short history has been marked by constant cycles of restless destruction and rebuilding. In their course the city has lost much of its character, individuality and sense of the past.

Arnold Benjamin's pictorial memoir, a representative choice coloured by some personal nostalgia, covers old theatres, hotels, clubs, office buildings, flats, restaurants and shopping precincts. Among others it deals with the much-loved late-Victorian Standard Theatre, whose demolition occasioned Johannesburg's first public demonstration over a building; with some of Parktown's stately mansions, the old Carlton Hotel, the remarkable Palace Buildings (1889-1957) and the original Wanderers Club, a city-centre sports stadium now submerged under railway platforms. It includes some important landmarks lost in very recent years, and several entire areas - such as Sophiatown, Alexandra Township and Pageview - whose unique character has been destroyed or damaged through ideology rather than the profit motive.

Lost Johannesburg is a book of value to all those concerned with the changing shape, past and present, of South Africa's cities.

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Buildings linked to this book

General Post Office, 1897 : 1905, Johannesburg. pp 68, 69 ill
Metro Theatre, 1932, Central, Johannesburg. pp 76-77
Palace Building, 1889, Johannesburg. pp 6
Post Office - Second, 1887, Johannesburg. pp 68, 70 ill
Union Club, 1913 : 1936, Central, Johannesburg. pp 94, 95 ill, 96 ill

People linked to this book

DONALDSON, John Stanislaus. pp 6
HARRISON, John Edwin. pp
SCHAERER, Theophile. pp 26-29
TONKIN, Wilfred Wiseman. pp 68