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HERITAGE TOURS (article first published : 2003-10-25)

The Friends of Architectural Heritage and Durban Art Deco Society will host a tour on October 26 to two listed buildings in St Andrews Street.

The tour starts at 10h00 for 10h15 at 20 St Andrews Street. This is the headquarters of the Diakonia-Centre formerly a two storied, school building (Convent High School) of the Union period in Berea style, arched verandas to two sides; hipped, tiled roofs. Costa Criticos, the consultant on the recent restoration of the centre, and Hester Joseph, who is in charge, will show the group around.

The tour will move across the road at 11h00 to 21 St Andrews Street. A three storied, institutional building incorporating a significant early Durban Italianate villa; the Italianate theme prevails; entrance portico, boundary wall: historical significance.

Originally built as a marine residence for the province’s new Lieutenant Governor in mid-1864, it has had a somewhat chequered career including being a church (which is still conducted in part of the building) and a hotel of somewhat questionable reputation (long relegated to the ranks of nostalgia).

It has now been restored and is used by the Durban Music School to provide affordable tuition for schoolchildren wanting to learn to play orchestral instruments. DMS director Werner Dannewitz and architect Paul Mikula who was in charge of the restoration, have kindly agreed to show the group around.

At 11h45, the Durban Art Deco Society will present Merit Awards for the continued care, painting and maintenance of their buildings to three Art Deco style buildings: Manhattan Court, Broadwindsor and Victoria Mansions.

Cost R10 (R5 members) and there is secure parking on premises. Please phone acceptance for catering purposes to Hon Secretary, Helen Labuschagne, on 031 301 1951 or fax 031 209 2234, e-mail: helenore@mweb.co.za or visit www.heritagematters.org.za or www.durbandeco.org




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