Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Galleries Added!

Dear Readers

I have just added a whole batch of new images to this blog. There are far too many to fit on one page, as I have done till now, so I have split them up into their own pages.
Please visit them -- you won't be dissappointed -- and each page as a link back to this "Death of Johannesburg" Main Page so you can navigate back here and and have a look at the next set.

The new gallaries are:

Three Castles Building, Marshall Street

A Drive Down Anderson Street

The Cartlon Hotel

The View from the Gauteng Legislature

A Drive Down Jeppe Street

The Johannesburg Bus Depot

The Jewish Museum, The Great Synagogue and OK Bazaars

Joubert Park – Then and Now

A Drive Down Marshall Street

Oppenheimer Park: The Vanishing Springbuck

A Drive Down Troye Street

Death of Johannesburg – Eloff Street and Others

Von Wielligh Street and Others

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Comments back, Moderation in Place

Comments have been reactivated, but moderation back in place. Bear with me while I wade through everything and try and pull out the ones that have crossed the line.

This is What Remains of the Wits Drill Hall….

When the Queen of England visited South Africa in 1947, the official reception for her was held at the Wits Drill Hall, 95 Anderson Street.
For decades, the Wits Drill Hall was a famous venue and even a tourist attraction in central Johannesburg.
Councillor Carol Milner, Ward 66, City of Joburg has sent me the following pictures and commentary: "95 Anderson Str, Joburg CBD has been like this for a at least a year. We have told the Council and told us that they will be using it for Emergency Services but it's still standing (or barely)."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Welcome to Bree Street, Johannesburg, Where Gold (Used) to Lie in the Street, Now, it's Just Rubbish

Bree Street is one of the main thoroughfares running through the city centre of Johannesburg, from east to west. It runs right through the CBD, and used to be one of the major economic centres, as well as being a residential area.
Today, as you can see, it is a slum, another shattered, filthy, ruined monument to the "New South Africa." Pictures courtesy of MZ, who made this hell run down Bree Street. Thanks MZ - send more (and that goes for any reader anywhere else as well).


Greetings readers.
I have been asked a few times now what my idea is with setting comments to moderation status, instead of allowing a free for all.
There are three basic reasons:
1. I want to keep racial epithets out of it. You can refer to race as much as you want, but there is no need to resort to racial epithets -- it lowers your argument level.
2. Please don't try and advertise web sites in your posts. It's not that I don't like anybody else's site, it's just that it's a dangerous precedent to set, and opens up all sorts of problems further down the line, when things appear on web sites over which I have no control.
3. Don't insult me. It's my blog, and I won't allow it, as simple as that. You can say I am wrong, whatever, but your post instantly goes down the drain if you resort to insults. You can resubmit without the insult if you want.
If there are any comments which have made it through which go against these rules, let me know. I have tried to catch all of them, but there are now nearly 1,000 and I may have missed some.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Visit to Yeoville

Yeoville was one of the 'trendiest' places in Johannesburg. Its main thoroughfare, Rockey Street, was the place for a very late night out, and here one could find an eclectic mix of exotic shops, dining establishments, clubs and who knows what all else, if you really looked.
And today? Well, let's let the pictures do the talking. My visit to Yeoville:

Above: A "shop" in Rockey Road today. This is a typcial shopfront for the entire street.

Corner of Raymond and Rockey Streets, Yeoville. This used to be quite a famous restaurant, I can't recall its name offhand, but I am sure someone seeing this will. (Edit: Readers have pointed out that this was the famous Mama's. Thanks.)

Above: All that remains of the South Street cafe, Bellevue East, Yeoville. It's still open, but I didn't venture too close because of what appeared to be sewerage in the gutter, which really put me off a bit. Thank the good Lord for my 200ml zoom lens.

Above: The corner of Rockey and Bezuidenhout Streets, Yeoville. There used to be a late night takeway on this corner. (Edit: Readers have confirmed that it was a Kentucky Fried Chicken once upon a time as well.)

Above: Looking down Bezuidenhout Street towards Rockey Street.

Above: A little further up Bezuidenhout Street... (not my original pic).

Above: The BP Garage on the north corner of the major Rockey and Bezuidenhout Street intersection. One of two petrol stations in Rockey Road, both closed down due to being continously robbed out of business. (Edit: A reader has confirmed that the last owner of this petrol station was shot dead with an AK-47 during a robbery. The station was just abandoned -- hence the pump's pipes hang loosely there, normally BP would take their stuff away).

Above: A typcial gutted house, corner of Muller and Bezuidenhout Streets. Even the roof has been stolen.

Above: Smashed apartments, Saunders Road Yeoville. Currently inhabited by squatters. The stench is unbelievable. It's a pity the Internet hasn't got 'scratch and sniff' type technology, I'd really give you something to clean you lot out away from your PCs.

Above: Inhabited house, lower Rockey Street, towards Observatory. ALL of the houses here look like this. I recall that the chief photographer for Associated Press in 1990 (I won't say his name here) telling me how happy he was to be buying a house here, and he looked at me all funny when I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. Like all good liberals, he has probably since voted with his feet.

Above: Typical filthy apartment block, Pope Street.

Above: Street scene, Dunbar Street. Taken from my car while moving, as by now I had attracted attention and was being followed by an aggressive group of locals. It was time to leave Yeoville.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 1

Above: Joel Street, Berea.
Above: Apartments, Olivia Street, Berea.
Above: Apartments, cnr Lily Ave and Olivia Street, Berea.

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 2

Above: The ruins of the Sands Hotel, O'Reilly Street, Hillbrow.
Above: The main entrance to the Sands Hotel, O'Reilly Street, Hilbrow -- or rather should I say the ruins of the Sands Hotel main entrance.

Above: The ruins of the Mark Hotel, O'Reilly Road, Hillbrow. Incredible to think I actually stayed there while on holiday in 1984.

Above: A closeup of the ruins of the Mark Hotel, O'Reilly Road, Hillbrow.
Above: The corner of Catherine and Esseln Streets, Hillbrow. Trash is just everywhere, and the whole place really does stink to high heaven.

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 3

Above: The main entrance to the old Hillbrow Squash Centre, Pretoria Street. The escalators have long since been smashed, and the one on the right is in such poor condition that it is dangerous, hence it has been blocked with an old car bonnet.
Above: Smashed block, claiming to be home to a High School, corner Pretoria and Quartz Streets.
Above: Parkview Apartment block, Lily Ave, Berea. Fairly typical state of the buildings in the suburb today. Inhabited. Above: A side view of the Parkview Apartment block, showing the equally typical street scene. What baffles me is the constant filth everywhere, even when trash cans are available, as one can see in the above picture.
Above: The bricked up remains of the Hatikvah Delicatessen, one of Hillbrow's more famous Jewish delis. Catherine Ave.

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 4

Above: Burnt out and gutted apartments, Catherine Street, Hillbrow.
Above: Corner Soper and Catherine Roads, Hillbrow. Fairly typical street scene.
Above: A gutted and bricked up building, corner Claim and Kotze Streets, Hillbrow.
Above: Gutted building and ruined furniture store, corner Edith Cavell and Kotze Streets, Hillbrow. No more Big Deals, in fact no deals at all.
Above: A closeup of the bricked up Big Deals....

A Tour Through Hillbrow Part 5

Above: The Nedbank Plaza and the ruins of the Cafe Zurich, formerly a great late night hangout which used to serve the most wonderful Black Forest cake... Pretoria Street, Hillbrow.
Above: The gutted ruins of the Nedbank Plaza and the Cafe Zurich, Pretoria Street.
Above: The Ruins of Cafe Zurich, Pretoria Street, another view.
Above: The Harrison Reef Hotel....or what remains of it, rather.
Above: The entrance to the Highpoint "shopping centre" on Pretoria Street, as it looks today. Note the totally gutted building on the right. This seems to be a common pattern throughout the area.
Above: The Highpoint apartment block: back in the 1980s, it was the place to stay -- if you had an apartment there, you really had arrived. Very popular with the rich students at Wits University, it was...
A close-up of a few of the windows in Highpoint today.

A Tour Through Hillbrow Part 6

Above: the destroyed building on the corner of Claim and Pretoria Streets, Hillbrow. Peter Rose used to publish the Hillbrow Herald from this building...I wonder what happened to him?
Above: A closeup of the corner of Claim andPretoria Streets. There used to be a dance studio and a fancy fashion outfitters there... I recall it was too expensive for me (mid 1980s).
Above: Anyone remember buying records at the Hillbrow Record Centre, Pretoria Street, Hillbrow? Well you can't anymore. It's boarded and barred up, like many shops in the area.
Above: Anyone remember the Milky Lane milkshake shop above Hillbrow Record Centre? Well, it's also gone, long time....
Above: Street scene, Pretoria Road. Formerly one of the main shopping roads in Hillbrow. The mattresses and blankets are from locals who sleep in the streets.