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Town Hall - now Rondebosch library
Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape

George Murray ALEXANDER: Architect
Type:Town Hall
Street:Hall Rd


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33°57'41.29" S 18°28'18.66" E Alt: 14m

The establishment of the Rondebosch Town Hall was quite a long, drawn-out affair as Rondebosch became a municipality in 1886, but the Town Hall was only opened in 1899. Michael Walker recounts the story in his book The Early Architects of Cape Town. In the beginning, the new municipality operated from a cottage which became increasingly cramped. In 1888 Alfred Ebden offered a piece of land near the station and this was acquired for £644. Alexander was invited to submit plans, which he did, but these were declared too expensive. According to Walker, by 1896 Alexander had altered the plans as many as nine times! Finally, the plans were accepted, one last proviso being that the front of the town hall face the railway line. Alexander was also asked to design a coat of arms for the Rondebosch Municipality , which he did, and the stained-glass depiction of the coat of arms is still in place today. The town hall now operates as a library and recently [2023] received an over R4 million renovation.

Source: Vernacular Architecture Society Newsletter Oct 2023.

Books that reference Town Hall - now Rondebosch library

Johnson, Brian Andrew. 1987. Domestic architecture at the Cape, 1892-1912 : Herbert Baker, his associates and his contemporaries. Cape Town: Unpublished Thesis UNISA. pg 360
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 109
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 Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis.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 110
Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pg 45-47