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ART DECO POST CONGRESS MEETING (article first published : 2003-02-20)

The 7th World Art Deco Congress takes place in South Africa in March.

The Durban Art Deco Society will host a post Congress Meeting in Durban from March 30 to April 3.

During the mid 1930’s a small number of talented architects produced a range of high quality Art Deco apartment buildings in downtown Durban and its surrounds. These buildings were right up to date with the most advanced trends in the United States.

Other cultures were quick to note this trend and it was not long before architects and builders in the Indian quarters were inventing unique and vital variations of their own, such as Vel-Vet Mansions and Carlisle Castle and many others in the Grey Street precinct.

The Cenotaph in Central Durban adjacent to the City Hall and Post Office is an excellent example of Art Deco design.

Some of Durbanšs internationally acclaimed examples of Art Deco architecture are: Victoria Mansions and Willern Court (1937) on the Embankment (1935); Broadwindsor (1934) and Manhatten Court in Broad Street and Surrey Mansions in Currie Road (1934). The latter is classed internationally as one of the most authentic Art Deco buildings.

Other buildings are 114-118 Victoria Street (1927) as well as Jeenašs Centre in (1940); Berea Court (1935) in Berea Road; Hollywood Court in Smith Street (1937) and Enterprise Building in Aliwal Street (1931).

Several of these owners have recently refurbished their buildings in time for the Post Congress Meeting.

There has been an international revival of interest in Art Deco architecture and art in recent years and a full exhibition dedicated to the style will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London during March - July 2003. Thereafter it will travel to Toronto, San Francisco and Boston.




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