Hospital Hill (Old Suburb between Braamfontein & Hillbrow)

 

Hospital Hill was a popular name for the eastern part of the March 1888 surveyed part of the township Johannesburg. It included the land on the hill where the first general hospital was built (the land granted by the government), Joubert Park and northerly surrounds, Kruger Park (which became the Wanderer’s Sport Club) and parts of the old railway station. Today it sits anonymously between Braamfontein and Hillbrow except for the fact that it houses a high percentage of medical and government related buildings that form a wide strip from the bottom of Smit Street right up to the old Fort to the north and over the hill down to the edge of Parktown.

JHB view Hospital Hill & Hillbrow 1888

Hospital Hill would be above Wanderers on the hill in the distance

Johannesburg’s first and temporary hospital was a three-roomed brick and thatch building  (possibly) in Commissioner Street that also doubled as the goal. It opened in early November 1886. The first patient was miner Thomas Gray who most likely had typhoid. He died on the 4th November. The second death was Charles Johnson who fell down No.2 reef in Doornfontein in December 1886. Interestingly, it was only in January 1887 that 12 stands were set aside in the area bounded by Harrison, Diagonal, Bree and De Villiers street for a small cemetery. It is not known where these men were buried. Read more on the history of cemeteries from an earlier post HERE.

In April 1887 a two room galvanised structure was purchased to serve as a dedicated hospital situated next to the goal which appears to have been demolished in January 1888 according to a sketch by Ida Stone dated 11 January.

Sketch go the first hospital being demolished

Sketch of the first hospital being demolished

Temporary hospital from 1888

Temporary hospital from 1888

It was not until October 1888 that the government agreed to funds and land for the erection of Johannesburg’s first proper hospital. The foundation stone was laid on the 29 March 1889 by General N.J. Smit (Vice-President of the Transvaal Republic) and it was finally opened on 5 November 1890 by J. M. A. Wolmarans.

The first general hospital in Johannesburg

The first general hospital in Johannesburg

The first chairman of the hospital board was John Carr. Both men have streets named after them.  Carr was a Roman Catholic and persuaded the Holy Family sisters to staff the hospital which they did until 1915 under Reverend Mother Adele.  The sisters continued to serve the public on a smaller scale at the Kensington Sanatorium.

Interior early 1900s

Interior early 1900s

The hospital was ‘lofty with handsome fireplaces’  and had 130 beds, an operating room and surgical equipment. In 1893 the eastern wing was added and in 1897 the Barney Barnato block was completed.

Operating theatre from 1902

Operating theatre from 1902

Hospital wards early 1900s

Hospital wards early 1900s

Barney Barnato Ward

Barney Barnato Ward

In 1904, the foundation stone was laid by Princess Christian for the Stroyan Ward as well as plans prepared for the outpatients and pathological departments, the superintendent’s house, laundry and the power house.

The superintendent’s house is in danger of falling down. It’s been in a state of disrepair for a number of years. There have been reports of a possible renovation as at 2015. It’s the last of at least three old houses on Hospital Hill but certainly one of the most interesting from a design and architectural standpoint.

Superintendent's house from 2012

Superintendent’s house from 2012

Back of the house from 2015

Back of the house from 2015

Back of the house 2017 (photo by Gwyn Thomas)

A chapel was also erected, possibly between 1895 and 1905. Actual date  to be confirmed.

Old chapel on the grounds (photo by Gwyn Thomas)

East and West pavilions with operating theatre and combined bed accommodation for 109 beds opened in 1913.  In 1915, medical staff quarters, dispensary and central kitchen with provision for a kosher kitchen opened. A three-story building, named after Julius Jeppe, to accommodate a further 111 patients was completed in 1919.

Ward 1

East Pavilion

Ward 2

West Pavilion

Pavilion with main block (photo by Gwyn Thomas)

In 1921, a non-European hospital (a branch of Johannesburg Hospital opened in 1924 and still standing) was erected across the road on the site of three old houses that were used for nurses training. It provided for 506 patients who paid for care based on income. The three-story building on the right in both pictures below was the old police barracks and was used for overflow patients.

Non-European Hospital in the 1960s

Non-European Hospital in the 1960s

Non-European Hospital in 2015 is used as the government mortuary and pathological services

Non-European Hospital in 2015 is used as the government mortuary and pathological services

In 1924 large extensions to the nurse home were completed as well as ten clinical side rooms for student training.

Old building still standing in the hospital complex

Old building still standing in the hospital complex – possible training building

More hospital buildings on Klein Street

More hospital buildings on Klein Street

The old hospital building from 1890 was demolished in 1937 to make way for the current Ronald Mackenzie Block which was completed in 1939 and designed by Gordon Leith. Today, the old hospital complex still survives but was superseded in the 1970s by the Johannesburg General Hospital (now known as the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital) which went up on Parktown ridge. The site on the ridge was once the home of Sir Lionel Phillips known as Hohenheim and was the first house built in Parktown in 1894. Hohenheim was donated and converted onto the Otto Beit Convalescent Home in 1915. Also on the ridge was another home that was converted into the E. P. Baumann Convalescent Home for Babies. This home also made way for the new hospital.

An interesting aside regarding the hospital’s original foundation stone: When the old building was demolished, a cavity was found under the foundation stone. In this cavity was meant to be a bottle containing coins and newspapers from the time. It turns out that the bottle was actually stolen shortly after the stone was laid as per board minutes from 10 July 1889. The coins were worth less and 2 Pounds and despite a 25 Pound reward, the items were never recovered.

Main Hospital block

Main Hospital block designed by Gordon Leith 1939

Back of the main block as seen form the fort 2011

Back of the main block as seen from the fort 2011

Close-up of main block 2017 (Photo by Gwyn Thomas)

In a state (photo by Gwyn Thomas)

The only remnant of the original hospital - outgoing patients section

The only remnant of the original hospital – outgoing patients section

Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital was a branch hospital originally administered by the Johannesburg Hospital from 1913 onwards. The first Queen Vic was established and built in 1904 by the Guild of Loyal Woman and designed by Allen Wilson. It was in Doornfontein in Siemert Road next to the Lions Shul and could accommodate 50 patients.

Siemert Road showing the Lions Shul and the Queen Victoria (with balcony) next to it

Siemert Road showing the Lions Shul and the Queen Victoria (with balcony) next to it

It transferred to the Milner Park (what the area was known as back then) in 1906. It was replaced by the current building built in 1943 (designed by Gordon Leith) which still stands at the bottom of Joubert Street extension and corner Sam Hancock Street at the bottom right of the Fort complex. There is a strong similarity between Leith’s work on the main block at Johannesburg Hospital and the design of the Maternity Hospital.

Queen Victoria Hospital in the 1960s

Queen Victoria Hospital in the 1960s

Full length front view of the building

Full-length front view of the building

Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital from the back 2015

Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital from the back 2015

As of November 2015, there was a tender out for repurposing and renovating the building (which is currently empty). The nurse’s homes appear to have been demolished and are now part of Constitution Hill. According to Artefacts, the nurse home was built in 1932 and the nurses quarters in 1938 and were both designed by Leith.

Across the road from the Queen Vic is the old Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children which was opened on 23 October 1923 by Prince Arthur of Connaught.

Children's Hospital 2015

Children’s Hospital 2015

From Artefacts.co.za: “It consisted of the memorial hall on the ground floor, six wards totalling 112 beds, two operating theatres, radiology and physiotherapy departments and a nurses’ home. Dr E.P. Baumann, who developed paediatrics in Johannesburg as a study and a service in its own right, led the medical team.

From 1923 until the building of the Johannesburg Hospital in Parktown, TMI was the Children’s Hospital. The verandas had a special function. Children suffering from Perthes hip disorder, a congenital problem that was treated by putting them in plaster so they would grow correctly, were taken out onto the verandas to benefit from the sunshine.

By 1935 the Transvaal Memorial Hospital for children consisted of the Main Building with its memorial hall, a block to the east of it which was the Observation Ward, the Nurses Home which was south of it and a western wing of wards. Only 207 beds initially but it was extended in 1965. The new building was opened for Outpatients, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, a Central Sterilizing Department, a laboratory for SAIMR, and a Child and Family Unit.

Children's hospital after completion

Children’s hospital after completion

In 1978-9 the Children’s Hospital was incorporated as part of the main Johannesburg Hospital and the buildings were left vacant for a while as the new use was developed, that of accommodating special needs clinics and later the NGO’s which provide fundraising and special support services to children in need.”

The Johannesburg Fever Hospital for infectious patients was opened in 1916. Cases were sent by the Public Health Department and admission was compulsory where isolation at home was not possible. It could accommodate 80 patients. Parts of this hospital still stand just behind the Civic Centre on Hoofd Street just across the road from the old Woman’s Prison.  It was (probably) designed by PWD under JS Cleland.

Fever hospital early 1900s

Fever hospital early 1900s

Fever hospital form 2015

Fever hospital from 2015

Surviving building from the Fever Hospital 2015

Surviving building from the Fever Hospital 2015

South African Institute for Medical Research (S.A.I.M.R), one of the world’s pioneer medical research organisations, was founded in 1912. The Union Government in 1912 contributed the money and the state donated the land adjacent to the general hospital at the eastern end of Jorrisen Street which was previously used as a military parade ground connected the fort. On 23 April 1913, the two foundation stones were laid for the building which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

SAIMR under construction

SAIMR under construction

The director’s house was also designed by Baker and completed around the same time. The building was completed in 1914. Further work was done in the 1930s when the roof was raised.

Aerial view of the SAIMR building 1980s

Aerial view of the SAIMR building 1980s

Some of the institute’s early groundbreaking work was on pneumonia and malaria. Before this, the government laboratory was a wood and iron building on the corner of De Korte and Hospital Street.

Other medical and government buildings:

Buildings across the road from the fort

Old police barracks across the road from the fort 2015

Building across the road from the Civic

Building across the road from the Civic 2015

Building between SAIMR and new morgue

The building between SAIMR and new morgue 2015. This was the original medical school before the one in Esselen Street was built.

Part of the 1890s wall that surrounded the parade ground

Part of the 1894 wall that surrounded the original police parade ground

 

Work on building a new and much-needed goal (jail) started on the top of Hospital Hill in 1892.

Old goal before the wall were built

Old gaol before the ramparts were built

Goal plans from 1893

Gaol plans from 1893

In April 1895 work started to construct the high walls or ramparts around the goal. The Fort was used to command Johannesburg during the Boer war (1899-1902).

Old fort from early 1900s

Old fort from early 1900s

Front of the fort 2015

Front of the fort 2015

Inside of the fort early 1900s

Inside the fort early 1900s underneath the coat-of-arms of the South African Republic

In 1908 it was proposed that the fort be demolished to allow easier access to the northern suburbs and a new goal built in Vrededorp. This scheme was declined due to the depression at the time. It was a working prison up to 1987 (except during the Boer war) and throughout its history has imprisoned Boer generals, strike miners, Indian passive resisters (including Ghandi), treason trialists (including Nelson Mandela) and various apartheid resistance fighters alongside common criminals. It’s remembered as a particularly harsh prison. The fort was declared a national monument in 1964. In its early days before high-rise buildings, it was a commanding site and had clear views across Johannesburg.

Inside of the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Inside the fort 2011

Johannesburg’s first gaol (before the fort) was completed at the end of October 1886 and was one of JHBs pioneering buildings. It officially opened in November and was a three room brick and thatch structure (possibly in Commissioner Street) built by Col. Ignatuis Ferreira who was the veldkornet in charge of law and order in early Jo’burg and after whom Ferreirasdorp is named. It was viewed as temporary solution and long-term prisoners were transferred to Pretoria. It was said that prisoners were more comfortable in the new goal than the commissioner in his galvanised structure.

Importantly, the gaol also served as the first hospital and the gaoler, Barend Bruyn, looked after both prisoner and patient.

Next to the old fort is the woman’s prison which was built in 1923. This Victorian inspired jail held the infamous murderess Daisy De Melker as well as resistance stalwarts Winnie Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. In the mid-1980s it was being used as HQ for the now defunct Parks police and for the Traffic police. It’s now a woman’s centre, exhibition space and museum part of Constitution Hill.

Woman's Prison entrance 2015

Woman’s Prison entrance 2015

 

Brick detailing around the windows

Brick detailing around the windows

Space for a plaque or sign above the main entrance

Space for a plaque or sign above the main entrance

Inside the main entrance

Inside the main entrance

Just below it, divided by a service road, where a parking lot for Constitution Hill now stands, used to be the old government mortuary which was commissioned by President Paul Kruger. It was built in 1896 by the Department of Public Works who were responsible for many of the government building at the time and was known as ‘Lykehuis te Johannesburg’.

Plans for the original mortuary

Plans for the original mortuary

It was completed around the time the walls around the old fort were being built, but it remained outside of the fortress but was part of the jail complex. It was a simple structure built to hold the dead until cremation or burial.

It appears that the original 1896 building was demolished and replaced by a more modern building. If I were to guess, I would say the mortuary was rebuilt sometime in the 1940s or 1950s as it seems to compliment the maternity home just further down in the same block. The three-story block of flats behind the premises was a simple late art deco inspired building made up mostly of yellow-orange bricks which seem to define government buildings and police stations from that era.

Outside of the modern mortuary sometime before being demolished

Outside of the modern mortuary sometime before being demolished

Constitution Hill parking replaced the mortuary

Constitution Hill parking replaced the mortuary

I spent a short time there while growing up and lived in flats at the back of the premises for a few months in 1987 (don’t ask…) and remember the layout vividly. There was also some curvature on the flats balconies reminiscent of Leith’s work.

Below is a section of the old mortuary from an aerial picture from the late 1960s. Note the empty space in the top right where the Civic Centre should be.

Fort and part of the mortuary on the right

Fort in the middle and part of the mortuary (middle right) below the woman’s prison

After 1994 it was unable to cope with constraints of the new society and was moved to the old non-European hospital around the corner. It was eventually demolished in 2003 and not incorporated into the museum and constitution Hill.

Beyond the eastern rampart, across Queen’s Road, is the Governor’s House and the Hillbrow Recreation Centre, previously the officers’ mess or club. It is probably 100 years old, estimated to have been built in 1908, according to a report by heritage consultant Herbert Prins.

Recreation Centre in 2015

Recreation Centre (old officer’s mess) in 2015

The Governor’s house dating back to 1905 is a single-story house with a long front veranda, iron roof and three well-established palm trees in its front garden. The house originally consisted of three lounges, a passage lobby, dining room, five bedrooms, two fireplaces and bay windows. Special features include a trough built into the west wall of one of the lounges, hipped ceilings, timber slatted ceilings and an attractive skylight in the hall. Sash windows have been replaced by metal ones. It was recently restored after years of neglect and fire damage. Originally the land and house were part of the Fort grounds.

Caretakers house from 2014

Governor’s house from 2014

Balcony of the Governor's house

Balcony of the Governor’s house 2016

Closer view of the exterior

Closer view of the exterior 2016

Across the road from the Governor’s house is the Florence Nightingale Nursing home. It was designed by H. Battiscombe and built in 1937 and appears to have closed down in the 1980s and turned into a block of flats. It was recently the subject of a photojournalist piece on ‘hi-jacked’ buildings in Johannesburg – not one of Hillbrow’s success stories.

Florence Nightingale Hospital 2016 taken from the Governor's house

Florence Nightingale nursing home 2016 taken from the Governor’s house

Florence Nightingale Hospital 2015

Florence Nightingale Hospital (eastern side) from 2015

The Athenaeum Club opened on the corner of Klein and Wolmarans Street in February 1904 . It was described as ‘delightfully situated on Hospital Hill just far enough from the town to escape its disgreeables yet not too far to exclude its conveniences.’ Members were drawn from  public & military schools or colleges, British universities and Transvaal Civil Service. Note the hitching posts on the pavement. It closed in 1913 having never been as popular as it’s London namesake. The club was demolished in the 1950s and was replaced by a building for the telephone department. This was again demolished and replaced by Telkom as new headquarters (in black marble if I recall) in the 1980s and still remains although I suspect not in use.

Club

Athenaeum Club shortly after completion

View of the club looking west down Wolmarans Street

View of the club looking west down Wolmarans Street early 1900s

Finally, Hospital Hill also refers to a geological series of shale known as the ‘Hospital Hill Series’.

Reference for this post:

http://able.wiki.up.ac.za/index.php/Lykenhuis_te_Johannesburg

University of Pretoria institutional repository http://repository.up.ac.za/

The Johannesburg Hospital – Gear & Salmon

Wits Medical School heritage 

Thanks to Gwyn Thomas for the additional photos taken in March 2017

The next post on Hillbrow is coming soon. I’ve been working on both but decided to post Hospital Hill separately as it’s too much for one post. I welcome any additional info on some of these medical buildings and others I may have omitted.

 

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This entry was published on January 2, 2016 at 1:57 pm. It’s filed under Johannesburg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

40 thoughts on “Hospital Hill (Old Suburb between Braamfontein & Hillbrow)

  1. Thank you for another informative article, Marc. My daughter spent a few days in the Children’s Hospital when she was small. She received excellent treatment there.

    • nqobile lombo on said:

      Hi I am a student doing research on the South African Medical research Institute for the history component of my honours. I am trying to get plans of the building please help me anyone

      • Marc Latilla on said:

        Hi, try the building & planning dept at the Civic Centre. They have plans for most of the buildings in JHB.

  2. Pingback: History of Hillbrow Pt.2 | Johannesburg 1912 - Suburb by suburb research

  3. Pingback: Doornfontein Pt.1 (Lion’s Shul & Turkish Consul) | Johannesburg 1912 - Suburb by suburb research

  4. zelda do casal. on said:

    Good day, I am lead to believe that the Old Florence NIghtingale Clinic is now an
    orphange in Hillbrow. where babies are housed, and born. I am busy making baby
    blankets for this home now. would like to know who I may contact to hand the blankets
    for this home….. too.
    Thank you in anticipation
    Zelda do Casal.

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Hi, the Florence is not an orphanage but a hijacked building. Try the Salvation Army of Children’s home as an alternative.

      • Hello Marc, i have to ask- hijacked by whom? or for what? I’m writing an historical fiction and i’m trying to get things right, but Joburg’s history is so layered and transient, it’s almost like the fossil record. Thank you for your work here, i appreciate it very much!

      • Marc Latilla on said:

        Thanks for reading! Many buildings in town and Hillbrow were left deserted by their owners in the late 80s and early 90s. Some left the country, others just gave up and forgot about them or sold them really cheap with massive rate backlogs. These empty buildings without electricity, running water, toilets or basic services were ‘taken over’ by gangs. They became the new illegal ‘owners’ and would charge rent as well as run prostitution and drug rings within the building. The state of the building would deteriorate to the point of it being condemned. By this time, the gangs had become so integrated with the building that it became difficult to remove them AND re-house the other people who lived there. There have been some successes, but there are still many of these hijacked building around. It is said that many of the gangs and tenants are illegal immigrants from other African countries but I don’t have any factual basis for this. There are other articles on the net if you search.

  5. Building between SAIMR and new morgue 2015 That was the original medical school, built before the one in Esselen Street.

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Thanks for that! Will update accordingly

      • The Old Wits Medical School designed by A and W Reid and Delbridge in 1920. Ref:http://www.wrhi.ac.za/Pages/HHP.aspx

        “The Past

        The precinct contains one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Johannesburg. It includes buildings to the west of Hospital Street such as the South African Institute for Medical Research building, designed by Herbert Baker and Frank Fleming in 1913, said to be based on Christopher Wren’s designs in Greenwich, London. Close by is the old Wits Medical School designed by A and W Reid and Delbridge in 1920. These buildings represent the work of some of South Africa’s most renowned architects, including Gordon Leith, Herbert Baker and Wilhelm Pabst, attracting the attention of visitors from all over the world.”

  6. trailers should read trialists

  7. Part of the hospital Hill area includes the suburb of Argyll which was where the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment camped. Reference Street names of Johannesburg:
    “ARGYLL
    On 17 June 1893 the Executive of the Transvaal Volksraad decided to grant Commandant Daniel Egnatius [!] Schutte land on Randjeslaagte No. 34 (Art. 317). On 1 January 1894, and in 1896 and 1898 Schutte acquired more land in the vicinity of the General Hospital, De Korte, and Simmonds Streets (cf. The Critic, 3 July 1896, p. 176). According to Mrs. E. L. Gray Commandant Schutte was born in Rustenburg in 1854 and arrived on the Rand in 1887. The area was once known as Schutte’s or Schutte’s Ground.
    In June 1903 Messrs. Arthur Barnett & Co. took over the lease, and laid out, what was for many years, the smallest Johannesburg suburb, to the west of the General Hospital. Currie and Kirkwood sold 31 stands on 26 May 1903 (The Transvaal Critic, 15 May 1903, p. 738, U.G. 34—1912 and L. E. Neame’s City Built on Gold, p. 153). The name Argyll, according to the Rand Daily Mail of 7 August 1953, commemorates the fact that the Argyllshire Highlanders camped on Schutte’s ground for some months. Reference is made to this period in R. P. Dunn-Pattison’s History of the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders, pp. 325-6:
    ‘On 1 September 1902 the 91st [The Argyllshire Highlanders] left Elandsfontein and marched to its new quarters just below the Fort at Johannesburg, played, the first five miles, out of camp by the band and pipers of the 79th. The men were encamped in a walled enclosure, called the Police Barracks, and the officers had some houses just outside the enclosure. . . . During its stay at Johannesburg the 91st received great kindness from the Presbyterian church and the Caledonian Society. The band and pipers played one afternoon a week in the Public Gardens. The Town Council and the inhabitants showed their appre­ciation of its services, for before the battalion left for home they arranged a public concert, the proceeds of which, a very handsome sum, were handed over to the Commanding Officer for distribution to the pipers, drummers, and bandsmen. On May 4th . . . the 91st left Johannesburg.”
    The one street is name Sutherland street.
    “SUTHERLAND AVENUE, Argyll
    Named after the 91st Regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, stationed there immediately after the war of 1899-1902, according to L. E. Neame’s City Built on Gold, p. 153. Mr. W. M. Russell wrote to the Town Clerk on 2 January 1907 to say that the township-owners gave the name to the street.
    In the United Transvaal Directory, 1908, it appears as Argyll (sic) and Sutherland Avenue (p. 599) and as situated in Argyll.”
    I used to live in the block of flats named Smitshof and wondered why the street was named Sutherland so I went and looked it up.

  8. “This was again demolished and replaced by Telkom as new headquarters (in black marble if I recall) in the 1980s and still remains although I suspect not in use”
    It is the telephone exchange for Hillbrow and a storage area.

  9. Glynis Millett-Clay on said:

    Good Morning, I am seeking my birth register information at the Queen Vic Maternity Hospital in 1952. I was born on 21 March that year and I dearly would love to know what time etc and what I weighed as well. Can some kind person point me in the right direction or perhaps help me? thank you kindly. Glynis (Cock) Millett-Clay from Benoni.

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Hi Glynis, I have no access to this kind of information. Can I suggest you try the Dept. of Home Affairs? Request a vault copy of your birth certificate – this is the one your parents would have filled in by hand when you were born. It will only be what they filled in at the time (so some info may be missing), but it’s a start.

  10. Caval Jane de Wet on said:

    I was born in Florence Nightingale Hospital on 20/09/1991. Any other info about the hospital ? Would be interesting to know

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Hi, Not much info out there I’m afraid. I’ll update the post with anything I find. I did recently purchase a book commemorating the opening of the new JHB General which may have some additional info.

  11. What a delightful walk down memory lane … thank you so much for a beautifully researched article, MUCH appreciated! I’m going to make sure my daughter in Canada gets to read it too!

  12. Betina Fleming on said:

    Thank you for such a brilliant site! I am really enjoying delving into the history of Johannesburg. We lived in Brenthurst Place from the end of the 80’s to 2000 when my father passed away. The photo of the view over the Empire/Louis Botha intersection is what we saw from our balcony in number 103! It’s amazing to see how the area around or old home developed over the years.

  13. PaulaGruben on said:

    What a fascinating read, thank you Marc!

  14. Carol Coney on said:

    Brilliant. so grateful for your work

  15. Bernard Kaplan, Merion Pennsylvania. on said:

    Thank you so much, Marc Latilla –
    We visited The Old Fort in 2013.
    I had worked across the road at TMH in 1966 and 1969 and did not remember, or did not know, that Ghandi and Mr. Mandela had been prisoners in that awful place.
    Paige and I lived at the Old Doctors Residence on Esselen Street in 1965.
    Thank you for the memories.
    Bernard Kaplan.

  16. Cassie on said:

    I was born at the Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital in 1957. Later we moved to the northern Cape. Years later in 1969,my father was Stationed at the Hillbrow Police station in Clarendon Place. Later they build the new Police Station on the cornwr of Sam – Hancock street and Clarendon Place. We stayed at number 27 Sam – Hancock street, right opposite the Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital, my birth place. I became a policeman as well. All the houses were occupied by policeman from various Police Stations and Wardens from the Old Fort Prison. I remember many other Hospitals like The Lady Dudley, Brenthurst Clinic in Parktown, the Park Lane Clinic. The Princess and The Hillbrow Clinic.

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Thanks for the memories Cassie! Did you live in one of those police houses that ran along Sam Hancock? I lived for a short time in the flats behind the Govt mortuary just up the road (my step-father was a policeman who worked there). Where was the Lady Dudley? I recall the name and for some reason think it may have been in Essellen Street?

      • Mike Tymbios on said:

        Hi Marc, I think the institution you referred to is the former Colin Gordon Hospital at the southern end of King George Street, corner Esselen Street in a rather bleak part of the Hospital Hill precinct. The Lady Dudley Nursing Home (disparaged as “The Deadly Lady”) was situated at the lower half of Hospital Street on the corner of de Korte Street.

      • Marc Latilla on said:

        Thanks Mike! I’ll look for more info and update accordingly.

  17. Christine Wintle on said:

    Are you related to herbert latilla who was the cousin of Andrew Duchesne ?

  18. Christine Wintle on said:

    I live in england and I am researching my family tree

  19. Thank you for an interesting tour of my old stamping ground. I googled the Florence Nightingale for an image of the front entrance and found this site. I was looking for the entrance of the ‘Florence’ for sentimental reasons but it is blocked in the image by some monstrosity.

  20. anita on said:

    Hi.
    Can anyone tell me who the Doctor/s was that delivered babies during 1978 at the Hilbrow Hospital? I have an interesting piece to put together but need the origin from the delivery day.

  21. ildi fenyvesi on said:

    The “building across the road from the Civic Centre” picture is the Forensic Chemistry Laboratory of JHB (a unit of the NDOH). I worked there for 15 years (from 1995). As far as I can recall ti was always a “laboratory” providing a forensic chemical testing service for clients such as the SAPS and pathologists. I recall a story where Daisy de Melke victim specimens were sent there to the lab for inorganic testing. It’s a beautiful old building but not conducive to a modern laboratory service, however the powers that be opted to renovate (and remove alot of the older features) the building instead of building a new one which would have been better suited.
    PS…I now work at the FPS MLL (government mortuary) in the old Non European hopsital)..and we have on occassion sneaked into the old derelict building/nurses quarters/hindu ward to explore the old buildings.

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