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ADAMSON, James Constantine

Born: 1795 01 22
Died: 1875 07 16

Clergyman - Minister

Was an educationalist and minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cape Town, and apparently responsible for the design of the South African College building, Cape Town. He may have had a hand in the design of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Cape Town, consecrated in 1829. He was co-founder of the South African College, where he was appointed professor of Mathematics and Physical Science. His interest in architecture and engineering arose from his teaching and pastoral activities. His report on Table Bay in 1837 led to the construction of Table Bay Harbour. In 1838 he served on the committee for the erection of the Herschel Memorial, Claremont, Cape Town. In collaboration with GG LEWIS, a ROYAL ENGINEER in charge of government building operations at the Cape until 1843, Adamson modified and enlarged the plan of the South African College buildings. Adamson left for Britain in 1850, traveling to America in 1853 where he spent seven years before returning to Cape Town in 1860, again becoming active in the affairs of the Cape. He died at Green Point.

Publ: Report for the Commission of Inquiry on the Improvement of Table Bay, 1837.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

South African College - 'Egyptian Building' - now University of Cape Town Michaelis School of Art: 1839-1841. Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect

Books citing ADAMSON

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 94

HSRC. 1968. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume I. Cape Town: Tafelberg for The Human Sciences Research Council. pp 5-7

Lewcock, Ronald. 1963. Early Nineteenth Century Architecture in South Africa : a study of the interaction of two cultures, 1795-1837. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 339

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 15

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1970. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 1 Aan-Bac. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 18-19