Jeppestown & Belgravia Pt.5 (Osborn Pharmacy, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Jeppestown Synagogue and Joooste & Bryant’s building)

Osborn Pharmacy

The plans for this building date back to 24 August 1898 and it was evidently built before the Anglo-Boer War by J.R. Koller. A good description is ‘…more leisurely pace with its Victorian air, which is suburban rather than city-centred’.

Although mostly Victorian with a highly decorated roof line, there are also elements of Classicist ornamentation reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance.

As the name implies, the building was a chemist for well over 70 years. Its first owner was a Mr. Sanderson

About the spelling…some books have the ‘e’ and some don’t. The current sign on the building if you zoom in on the Picture below has it with the ‘e’. Some use the more common spelling ‘Osbourne’

Osborn Pharmacy 2011

Osborn Pharmacy 2011

View down Marshall Street in early 1900s with the pharmacy on your left

View down Marshall Street in early 1900s with the pharmacy on the right

View down Marshall Street 2011

View down Marshall Street in 2011 with the pharmacy on the right

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Anyone who has driven around this part of town has no doubt come across the landmark that is the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Corner and entrance of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Albrecht Street 2011

Corner and entrance of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Albrecht Street 2011

Designed by brothers Arthur and Walter Reid in 1899, the hotel was probably only built in 1902 due to the onset of the Anglo-Boer war. The design is late Victorian although it was built in the early Edwardian era. In its day it would have towered above the low line surrounding shops. Not far away, the Rand Tram ran diagonally across the township.

The following was written about the hotel by Daphne Saul in 1983 (taken from the Heritage Portal):

“The hotel was opened in 1899. It was first owned by a Mr Schlom and was known as Schlom’s Hotel. Then it was taken over by a Mr Lipson and subsequently by a Mr Cohen. In 1914 it was bought by South African Breweries. Miners from the Wolhuter Mine in the vicinity were regular customers.

The hotel boasts an elaborate neo-baroque facade in the style known as ‘beaux-arts’. It is the only surviving building designed by the well-known firm of architects at the time, the brothers Arthur and Walter Reid. It has floral mouldings, pilasters, pediments above each upper window and, to top it all, a leaden dome with bullnose gutter.

The bar of the hotel has a most interesting feature. This is a row of supports of carved wooden lions in the classic heraldic style. No one seems to know who thought of this embellishment, who carved the lions or who paid for them. Buffalo and buck heads are mounted on the walls and recall the time when it was used by the Masonic Club known as the Old Buffaloes.

In former times the hotel was called the Jeppe Rand Club by its patrons. The building was erected in a period of financial optimism which probably accounts for its opulent appearance and this notwithstanding the fact that the Anglo-Boer war was imminent at the time”

View down Albrecht Street

View down Albrecht Street

Reconstruction by D.W. Robertson

Reconstruction by D.W. Robertson

Full view of the Cosmopolitan Hotel

Full view of the Cosmopolitan Hotel

Sadly, the building is in a state of disrepair and the entrance doors and windows are currently bricked up. It’s very close to the revitalised Maboneng District so hopefully it’ll soon be restored soon and added to back to the city again.

I’m happy to report that since this post, it has been renovated. Check out 2Summers.net blog with some great then and now pictures here.

Jeppestown Synagogue

A relative latecomer to Jeppestown, the Synagogue was built in 1927. The central facade with huge arch window flanked by pillars topped with small domes is based on a tradition that goes back as far as the Temple of King Solomon. The Synagogue was designed by Saul Margo

Jeppestown Synagogue situated across the road from the Jeppe monument

Jeppestown Synagogue situated across the road from the Jeppe oval and monument

Jeppestown Synagogue

Jeppestown Synagogue now known as Assembly of God Portuguese Community Church Templo Sede Ebeneezer J.H.B.

Prior to this, the first synagogue in Jeppe was in Marshall Street. It appears to have been a Lithuanian Shul and built in 1903 and was in use until 1926 when it presumably moved to the new and bigger synagogue above. The original structure still exists and it looks as though it was cut in half by the expansion of the railway lines. I’ll need to get more information on this and timings around the  railway additions, but it could make for an interesting story. The half building is now part of a marble factory. According to Artifacts, it was originally designed by George (Snowball) Laidler.

Google view of the old Lithuanian Shul showing where the railway expansion cut into the building

Google view of the old Lithuanian Shul showing where the railway expansion cut into the building

Jooste & Bryant’s Building

Designed by Waterson & Veale, this building was completed on 3 June 1906. It’s a typical example of Victorian excesses tempered by simpler Edwardian style. The cast iron balcony, roof signage and corner tower are all Victorian whereas the stark lines of the facade and lack of decorative gables and dormer windows are all Edwardian traits.

Corner view (pic from www.allatsea.co.za)

Corner view (pic from http://www.allatsea.co.za)

Jooste & Bryant's Building roof signage - the last remaining example in JHB

Jooste & Bryant’s Building cast-iron roof signage – the last remaining example in JHB

The building originally housed one of the few Afrikaaner businesses in Johannesburg. Jooste & Bryant were importers and distributors of brandy and other luxury goods.

Tram Terminus Building

Not actually in Jeppestown at all, this building from 1911 had appeared in two books as being in Marshall Street. I came across a different location on another site but that address was also incorrect (Cnr Jules and 17th street). After a little investigation, I eventually found it further up Jules street. It was probably where the tram line ended on that route.

Tram Terminus Building in Jules Street

Tram Terminus Building in Jules Street

 

 

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This entry was published on August 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm. It’s filed under Johannesburg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Jeppestown & Belgravia Pt.5 (Osborn Pharmacy, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Jeppestown Synagogue and Joooste & Bryant’s building)

  1. Desire Cloete on said:

    love all the old 19th century building s so historic magnificent to think they have stood the test of time

  2. Thank you for your amazing insights. Where could I get contact details, our company is looking to possibly rent/ repair the Cosmopolitan Hotel?

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Hi,
      Try Propertuity 0861 333 444. If they don’t own or manage the Cosmopolitan, I’m sure they can point you in the right direction

  3. Glynne Case on said:

    So wonderful that the Cosmopolitan has been given a new lease of life in such a wonderful and totally appropriate way. I plan to go there soon. The Saturday Star of today (13 August 2016) has an article on the chaps who have been involved in the revival of it.

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      It’s great news! I read the article today. It was only a matter of time before it would eventually become part of Maboneng

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