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Westgard House - Trust Buildings
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

KALLENBACH, KENNEDY and FURNER: Architect

Date:1939
Type:Offices
Style:Art Deco
Status:Demolished 1993

Westgard House is styled as the early New York skyscraper with it's ziggurat stepping. Apart from its strong verticality, Deco features include: Horizontal bandings wrapping the first floor, the building's name in relief in stylized lettering, corner windows on the 12th floor, columns fluted on their edges right up to their cornice - angled inwards ever so slightly from the 12th storey, as though neatly machined, before they terminate in a streamlined waterfall design with rounded tops above the 13th storey, beautifully complimenting the building's stepped impediment. A classy cityscape contribution of combined elegance and simplicity by the architects.

The building was imploded in June 1993. Two newspaper articles gave false information claiming it was only 40 years old in 1993, and for years this was taken as granted and probably helped get a demolition permit.

Information and photographs sent to us by Boaz Chaves, a mermber of the Durban Art Deco Society, who saw the building on the day it was imploded. His research eventually revealed the truth - it was built in 1939, not 1953.