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BLACK, Herbert

Born: 1875 12 01
Died: 1937


Year registered: 1928

Reg Prob RIBA 1900 London; Reg Student RIBA 1901; ARIBA 1903 Cape Town

Herbert Black was born in Australia. He was the half-brother of William BLACK. Herbert and William's father was Edward Black. Edward Black’s first marriage was to Isabel (or Isobel) Hutton on 11 April 1863 at Christ Church, South Yarra Victoria. They had three boys: Edward Murphy 1864, James George 1865, William Patrick Henry (1867). William was born at 35 Bank street east, Emerald Hill on 15 July 1867. Isabel died in her 28th year on 3 August 1867 possibly as a result of the earlier childbirth. Five years later, Edward Black (41) married Isabel's sister, Helena Silvestra (Sylvestra) Hutton, then 25 years old, on 19 Nov 1872. Edward and Helena had two children Anne Mary and Herbert (born 1 December 1875). After graduating from Melbourne University, Herbert came to South Africa in 1897 to serve his 'articles' in the office of his half-brother. He then studied in England at the Architectural Association 1900-1903 before returning to South Africa 1903; he was elected an associate member of the RIBA in 1903 in Cape Town which means that he came to South Africa immediately on qualifying at a time William Black was recruiting staff. He became a partner in his half-brother's firm in Cape Town in 1904 (cf BLACK & FAGG).

There is lack of clarity about Black's relationship to the firm since he is listed soon afterwards in separate offices from Black & Fagg in Cape Town and later in Johannesburg (c1907) at a time when the firm had an office in Johannesburg while occupied with the Potchefstroom Town Hall job. In Johannesburg he shared the same address as Black & Fagg, as listed in the directory, but was listed separately as well, possibly indicating that he was in Johannesburg on his own and perhaps in a supervisory capacity on Potchefstroom Town Hall.

He returned to Melbourne in 1907, he was listed resident there in the RIBA Kalendar 1908/1909. He married Marie Gertrude Ries. He established a successful practice and opened offices with William in 1908 in New Zealand. Herbert Black divorced Marie Ries in 1916 and after serving briefly in World War I, his family believe he left for South Africa to work with his half-brother.

He registered with the Institute of South African Architects in 1928, practicing from Burmeister's Building in Cape Town and resident at 94 Kloof Street.

The Australian family lost contact with Herbert. Although he is thought to have died in 1937, no records of his death in South Africa have been found.

(ARIBA nom papers (1903); ISAA mem list; RIBA Kal 1908/9; 1915/16, 1927, 1930/31; SAA&B Mar 1904:101; UTD 1907)

(Additional information supplied by Dr Robert La Nauze)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing BLACK

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp