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Old Mutual
Cape Town, Western Cape

James BISSET: Architect
Thomas James Campbell INGLESBY: Contractor

Type:Offices with shops to street
Status:Razed by fire
Street:Darling Street

South African Mutual Life Assurance Society Building.

Won on competition. (Radford 1979:111)

This was Old Mutual's first office. The design was put out to competition and was won by WELCHMAN and READ with James BISSET as runner-up. However the WELCHMAN and READ design was too expensive so they turned to the design of James BISSET. THe contractor was Thomas James Campbell INGLESBY, not that his tender was the lowest submitted but, even at barely thirty years old, he was acknowledged to be Cape Town's leading builder.

The shops on the ground floor were glass-fronted which was a novelty in those days.

On the night of Friday 27 June 1902 a fire started in the City Chambers which abutted the Old Mutual, despite the best efforts of the Fire Brigade the entire city block was burnt to the ground.

Books that reference Old Mutual

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 Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis.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. pg 111
Simons, Phillida Brooke. 1995. Old Mutual, 1845-1995. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau. pg 47, 85