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List of Projects

DE WITT, Anthony (Antonie) Mauritz

Born: 1854 11 16
Died: 1916 04 17

Architect


EAASA 1884; SASA 1902

Born in Dordrecht in the Netherlands, De Witt served indentures with a local architect in The Netherlands and entered the established practice of his father, Dirk de Witt. At the age of twenty he had already executed the design of many large bridges and buildings. He came to South Africa in 1876 for health reasons, recruited to work on the projected Lebombo railway line for the South African Republic (ZAR) under President Burger (resigned as President in 1877). President Burger was in the Netherlands in 1875 trying to gain financial support for the ZAR against the impending British annexation of the Republic. He, hearing of Anthony’s problems, offered the young man a job on the proposed Lebombo Railways. The Lebombo project was abandoned but De Witt stayed in Potchefstroom until he left for Cape Town in about 1880, having spent about four years in the Transvaal. To keep the wolf from the door he became a regular contributor to Het Volksblad in Cape Town where his articles were 'eagerly awaited ... owing to his experience of the Transvaal and his knowledge of the trend of thought there' (Men Cape 1906:434). At that time he also contributed articles to the Cape Times. In Cape Town he acted as freelance draughtsman to various offices, amongst which that of C FREEMAN's office. He then branched out on his own, soon establishing a flourishing practice. He did more to show his interest in engineering by volunteering his services to the Cape Garrison Artillery, soon becoming 'Captain of the Engineers', presumably in the auxiliary forces. In this capacity he became involved in the design and construction of temporary military bridges (Bozzoli, 1997: 116).

He executed a number of commercial buildings in the city and was responsible for a number of domestic buildings. Radford characterises De Witt's domestic work as generally asymmetrical and highly eclectic, probably making use of the American pattern books of the 1880s. Apart from managing a reasonably large practice, De Witt was an enthusiastic member of the architectural profession in the Cape, becoming a founder member of the Engineer, Architect and Surveyor's Association (1894), of SASA (1898) and of the Cape Institute of Architects (1902). In 1906 De Witt returned to the Transvaal, his practice in Cape Town probably affected by the depression and was employed by the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Pretoria and became a member of the Association of Transvaal Architects. His employment with the PWD lasted until 1914. He retired and was appointed to the military post of official censor of post at the Fort Napier German prisoner of war camp in Pietermaritzburg where he appears to have remained until 1915. He seems to have returned to Pretoria where he died aged 62, his obituarist Walter REID remarking: 'his latter days were not a bed of roses' (Jnl ATA Sep 1916:27 obit).

Walker (Walker, 2011:11) states that Antony de Witt died on 17 April 1916, aged sixty-two. He died penniless, besides a few personal belongings (mainly books), at Westbury, Ottery Road, Wynberg, home of his daughter, Marie. He had, due to poor health, come down from Pietermaritzburg where he held the rank of captain, and was chief censor in the German prisoner-of-war international camp. His demise in health (he died of cancer of the throat as a result of heavy pipe-smoking) together with the death of his wife, Anna, left him spiritless and it was a sad ending to a man who at one time was one of Cape Town's outstanding architects.

According to the article on him in Men of the Times (Cape 1906), De Witt introduced the half-timber style of building, and the basement and mansard roof to commercial buildings in the Cape. It was also claimed here that he introduced 'continental renaissance' style to private house design, his own house 'Montana Vista' being cited as an example. Not content with these contributions to the Cape, De Witt was also credited with having introduced 'the American skeleton steel frame' to South Africa in about 1885, used in JW Jagger's four-storey building in Cape Town. His son Gerhard De WITT, trained as an architect.

(Afr Archt Jul 1911:33; Jnl ATA Sep 1916:27 obit; KCM 90/10 (postcard album of confiscated/censored postcards of life in the prisoner of war camp in Fort Napier 1914-1915); Men Cape 1906; SAA&B Mar 1905:122; SAWW 1908, 1910; UTD 1915)

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes


2 Single Storey Cottages for T Mulvihal: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
2 Single Storey Houses for BD Willemse: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
20 Double Storey Houses: 1899. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
3 Villas: 1902. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
5 Shops with Flats for Van Ryn Wine and Sirit Co.: 1897. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Alford, Willis and Abbott: ?? : 1905. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Bakery of A Mc Greggor: ?? : 1892. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Begley Bros: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Berg Spirit Co, Wine and Brandy Store: 1905. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect
Black Rock House: ?? : . Sea Point, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
C Begley Premises: ?? : 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Caledon Baths - Sanatorium - Hotel: pre-1905. Caledon, Western Cape - Architect
Caledon Sanatorium: n.d.. Caledon, Western Cape - Architect
Christelike Jeug Zaal - CJZ - Christian Youth Hall: 1908. Malmesbury, Western Cape - Architect
Chubb and Maxwell Building: 1903. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Church Schools: 1890. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Coetzenburg, refurbishment: 1893/1903. Stellenbosch, Western Cape - Architect
Cogill's Hotel: pre-1908 : 1938. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect pre-1908
Colonade Building: 1895. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Commercial Union Buildings: c1893. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Congregational Church: 1902. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect
Cottage and Stable for MJH Marshall: 1890. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Cottage for DP Krynauw: 1891. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Cottage for J Buchegger: ?? : 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Cottage for Miss TEM Stonetree: 1898. Claremont, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
CW Kitching Consulting Rooms: ?? : 1899 : 1900. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Delponte Building: 1890s : 1996. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Driscoll's Corner: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Dwelling for Mr CR Goodspeed: 1886. Woodstock, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Dwelling for Mr W Thome: 1904. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Empire Hotel: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Fontainbleu: ?? : 1899. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
G Deponte: 1893. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Glassberg Building: 1897. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect
HG Legg: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Hotel for A Hartung Properties: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Hotel Metropole: 1895 : 1928. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect 1895
House C Foster - Fosters Villa: 1896. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House Charles Mills: ?? : 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House De Witt: Montana Vista: c1898. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
House Dr Wright: c1898. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
House Fred Ayres: 1895. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House J Holberg: n.d.. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House J Loopuyt: 1904. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House of Mr GJ Bain: ?? : 1896. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House P Bosman: 1896. Sea Point, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House PH Marais, Highbury: 1895. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
House R Hunter - Hunters Villa: 1896. Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House Storm - Senn Hütte: 1904. Kalk Bay, Western Cape - Architect
International Hotel: 1904. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
J Christ: ?? : 1893. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Jagger's: ?? / 1892. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
JW Jagger & Co Building and Warehouse: 1892 : 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
JW Wathes: ?? : 1892. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Koch and Dixie building: 1891 : 1895 : 1899. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Kraaifontein Hotel: n.d.. Kraaifontein, Western Cape - Architect
Le Roux Farmhouse, modernised: 1895. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect
Lennon Building: 1899. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect
Lennon Ltd, now Gardens Pharmacy: c1896 : 1897. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Lennon's building, rebuilt: 1885/6 : 1895. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Lennon's Corner: 1895. Beaufort West, Western Cape - Architect
Limerick Hotel: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Lobster Factory: 1892. Woodstock, Western Cape - Architect
Long Street, 117: C1895. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Loop Street 34-38: c1890s. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
M Tracey Shop: 1894. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Medical Baths: 1902. Mouille Point, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
MITCHELL and MACKIE: 1896. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1911-1912. Bredasdorp, Western Cape - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: c1873. Kruisvallei, Western Cape - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1887. Wepener, Free State - Architect
Palmerston Hotel: 1890; 1904. Cape Town, Western Cape - Associated Architect 1904
Petersen and Co: ?? : 1890 : 1894 : 1902. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Petersen and Company Factory: 1903. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
PJ Petersen and Co: 1893 : 1900. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Residence for Dr EA Rowan: 1900. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Residence for FW Williams: 1903. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Residence for H Storm: 1905. St James, Western Cape - Architect
Residence of Prof AA Bodkin: 1897. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Romain and Gronitzkie: ?? : 1899. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
SC Abrahams: ?? : 1893. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Schools - Primary and High: pre 1910. Tulbagh, Western Cape - Architect
Searle & Sons Warehouse: 1898. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Searle Walters and Sons - Bonding Store: 1896. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
St Anne's Pre-Primary School: 1895. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
St John's Church - enlarged: c1900. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
St Peter the Fisherman: 1895. Hout Bay, Western Cape - Architect
Stables and Cottage: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Stables, Coach House and outbuildings: 1904. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Stellenberg Gates: n.d.. Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Stephan Bros. Tobacconist: 1893. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
T Gibson & Co: 1904. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Terrace of houses for Chas Mills: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Thesen Timber Warehouse and Store: 1904. Maitland, Western Cape - Architect
Thesen's Warehouse - Van Riebeek House: 1904 : 1953. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Thomas Gibson Counting House: ?? : 1903. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Van Ryn Wine Co Ltd: 1897. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Vergenoegd: 1899. Paarl, Western Cape - Architect ascribed
Victoria Cottage Hospital: 1891-1892 : 1905. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
Villa for D Tennant: 1897. Claremont, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Villa for E Powell: 1898. Claremont, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Villa for JC Carstens: n.d.. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Villa for John Robertson: 1891. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Volunteer Drill Hall: 1884 : 1888-1889. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect 1888-9
WT O'Callaghan Chemist & Waiting Room for Tram Passengers: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
YWCA, Long St: 1886. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect

Books citing DE WITT

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 3, 49-65

Bozzoli, GR. 1997. Forging ahead : South Africa's pioneering engineers. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. pp 114-117 (photo 115)

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 40, 41, 42, 43, 80, 114, 127, 130, 264, 443

Johnson, Brian Andrew. 1987. Domestic architecture at the Cape, 1892-1912 : Herbert Baker, his associates and his contemporaries. Cape Town: Unpublished Thesis UNISA. pp

Martin, Desmond. 2007. Walking Long Street. Cape Town: Struik. pp 27, 29, 58, 105

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 7, 21, 38, 54, 56*, 57, 61, 63, 82*, 83, 84, 97, 100*, 101, 107 , 115, 116*, 117, 121, 131, 135, 139, 141, 142, 148, 149, 166, 171

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 25, 40, 46, 57, 64, 91

Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838 1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pp Various

Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pp 38-39 item 43.17; 52 item 43.52; 82 item 49.48; 149 item 56.27; 254 item 75.27; 286 item 81.3

S2A3 (Plug, C - Project Leader and main compiler). 2002-. S2A3 biographical database of southern African science. Webspace: WWW. pp Accessed 12 January 2016

Transvaal Publishing Co. 1906. Men of the Times : Old Colonists of the Cape Colony and Orange River Colony. Johannesburg, Cape Town and London: The Transvaal Publishing Co. pp 434

Von Wurzburg-Schade, J H F. 1897. South African agriculturists' year book and almanac for 1897 : the Cape farmers' own vade mecum. Cape Town: Western Province Pub. Co.. pp 177 Add

Walker, Michael. 2010. A Statement In Stone. Cape Town: Privately published by Michael Walker. pp 11

Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pp 47-54

Walker, Michael. 2015. Old hotels of Cape Town (1890-1911), The : A history long forgotten, seldom told. St James: Published Privately. pp 25-30, 32