Sad News about Durban Iconic Building.


I know many Durbanites who now live overseas do visit this site and I suppose it is appropriate to let them know of developments in the once fine city centre. This article appeared in the Sunday Tribune this past Sunday and it is sad to note that the doors of this fine and iconic Durban building are closing in August. Sad news because the CBD is getting tattier as time goes by. Many CBD building are standing empty with TO LET signs all over them. One worries that they become economically unviable and with rates to pay they fall into disrepair. For old buildings like Greenacres it sometimes is the death knell.
In the same paper there was an article on how Albany Grove has deteriorated and to remind you, Albany Grove runs down the side of the Playhouse. I am sure most Durbanites my age either queued up in Albany Grove to buy tickets or parked their car in Albany Garage for a Saturday night movie. Click on pictures to enlarge. You can also Save the Image to your computer and this will enable you to read the print.

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10 Responses

  1. graeme
    | Reply

    Flippin sad really.
    Gerald, what plans do the so called Durban council have for this building….demolish or rebuild???
    Is that hotel on the corner next to the Playhouse still operating??

    • Brian Hurt

      The Mayfair hotel,it is still open.

  2. graeme
    | Reply

    Hi. I see no response to my above questions. I assume nobody knows. Tks

  3. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Graeme
    I have seen nothing so obviously at this stage things are still in the air. However Edgars the present tenant are not doing too well commercially and I suppose does not appeal to the passing trade that now have taken over the CBD. Not so long ago I did a nostalgic walk through town and what a difference. The shop I bought my wedding suit in 1970 is now a butchery! Salisbury Arcade was 95% To Let. I doubt whether the CBD will ever recover the vibe it used to have. All the old buildings will probably fall into disrepair, crumble and will be flattened. When you think about it that is what happens. How many fine old buildings were demolished in the name of progress and I suppose the same will happen here.

  4. Adrienne
    | Reply

    I live in Britain now and London high street and many towns are going through the same fate. It is a global problem

  5. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    You would not recognise West and Smith Streets now.

  6. David Vickery
    | Reply

    In the early 1960’s I worked for Johnson & Johnson in Hooper Lane On the ground floor was a tiny sandwich shop run by an ex army cook or baker and next door across the first floor landing was a Scottish fellow “Mac” who was an engraver.
    Some of our deliveries used to come by rickshaw.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi David
      I remember the engraver as when I went to the Army I had two St Christopher medals engraved there. It was a done thing in he 60s for you and your girlfriend to wear a St Christopher medal those days. I looked up Engravers in my 1965 Dbn Directory and there he is H.G. R. MacMillan 12 Hooper Lane. I tried to trace the sandwich shop but there was no indication except a shop named Stephanie.

  7. David Vickery
    | Reply

    Regarding the Mayfair hotel I remember the resident band band was run by the pianist, Tom Cherington.

  8. David Vickery
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald, regarding your comments on the engraver in Hooper lane.Initials H G R, the H I think stood for Hector but was known as Mac!!! He had a broad Scottish accent.

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