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Astor Mansions
Johannesburg, Gauteng

OBEL and OBEL: Architect

Type:Flats with shops to street
Street:178 Jeppe/Von Brandis Sts


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26°12'05.55" S 28°02'39.01" E Alt: 1772m

1933 text from Cumming-George page 51.

ASTOR MANSIONS is situated on the corner of Von Brandis and Jeppe Streets and has a frontage of 50 ft. (15.24 meters) to both streets.

The ground floor consists of five shops, two on Von Brandis Street and three on Jeppe Street. The entrance to the flats and offices is from Jeppe Street.

The professional offices on the first floor and the flats on the remaining floors are served, in addition to the usual stairs, with two high-speed lifts.

The professional suites are of different sizes, being divided into two and three rooms consisting of general and private offices.

The flats range from single to two-room flats, each flat being self-contained with its own kitchen and bathroom.

The top floor consists of two flats along with a flat roof which is divided up into private roof-gardens for the flats and a public roof-garden which may be used by the flats on the lower floors.

All the flats are serviced with hot water supplied from a central heating system.

The total height of the building is 145 ft. (44.20 meters).

Transcription of Heritage Plaque:



One of the first high-rise buildings in Johannesburg,
“Astor” referred to an extremely wealthy American
family whose fortune came from real estate in New
York, thus linking it to the grand apartment buildings
and skyscrapers of Manhattan. In 1932, with the
name emblazoned on glass between the twin
towers, the architects, Obel & Obel, were able
to meet their brief to make it the tallest
building in town.

The Heritage Portal

(SAB Aug 1931:23 ill; SAB Sep 1931:51, tend)

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

Books that reference Astor Mansions

Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pg 62 ill, 84, 85-86, 86 ill, 92 ill, 93 ill, 96, 115
Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 50-51
van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pg 206 ill, 207, 208