Musgrave Centre

posted in: Pictures 3

Arthur Gammage sent in some interesting pictures of Musgrave Centre. He wrote:

Good day Allan. One of your respondents mentioned the Musgrave Centre and asked about any images. I have an artist’s impression and a photo of the original centre as attached, from journals in the UKZN Architecture Library.

Gerald Mullins has the distinction of designing this first shopping mall in the inner suburbs in 1958. It featured modernist decorative elements including a suspended curved concrete hood over the entrance. The centre has been enlarged several times, with the addition of a tower block, losing its 1950s character. One such extension involved the successful transplanting of a Baobab tree on the site to a position on the Musgrave Road frontage.
A notable feature of the centre is that it had a close street frontage from the outset, rather than the typical suburban model where the building is set back with open car parking intervening.

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3 Responses

  1. Ian Jackson
    | Reply

    I remember Musgrave centre there was flats above the shops and CNA was on the left towards the Essenwood entrance.Also there was only two floors and then the flats.

  2. Keith Parker
    | Reply

    In the late 60,s I worked for Abbott Laboratories and we had a mezzanine office opposite CNA on upper level
    Many memories of the classic centre

  3. Miguel Menezes
    | Reply

    During the extension that involved the successful relocation of the Baobab Tree, the original plan was to get rid of the tree that was located more centrally (east edge) within the site. I recall one person chaining himself to the tree in protest to its proposed demise.
    This act resulted in the developer agreeing to save the tree and relocate it to the position it is in today at the Musgrave Road end.
    To that brave person…. we thank you.
    It would be good to know your/his name.

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