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London and SA Bank
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape

J Thornhill COOK: Architect


Main Street, Port Elizabeth.

This is one of the handsomest and best built streets in South Africa. It is over two-and-a-half miles in length, and has a peculiarly English appearance, which is very noticeable. Here most of the great Port Elizabeth mercantile firms, whose branches are all over South Africa, have their head places of business. The building on the right is the Post Office, and the handsome obelisk in the foreground was the gift of the late Mr. John Patterson, to which a drinking fountain has been added by the Town Council. The view is taken from the top of the Town Hall portico.

Ref: Photographs of South Africa comprising Representative Views etc.; The South African Photo-Publishing Company, Cape Town, 1894: p, 65.

(Submitted by William MARTINSON, January 2011)

The London and SA Bank building was later taken over by the post office, which occupied the building until the completion of the new post office building behind the City Hall in 1900. At some point, before 1910, the building was extended by an additional 3 bays along the Market Square (Jetty Street) Elevation, in the same style as the original. In the earlier photos the building included a lantern on the roof but this appears to have been removed, quite early on (before 1900). After the Post Office it became the head office for Union Castle Mail Steamship and Co. Sadly it was demolished in 1976, with the redevelopment of Market Square.
(Gerald Humphrey)

Writings about this entry

Herholdt, AD. 1988. Uitenhage : a case study of small town colonial architecture. Port Elizabeth: M Arch. University of Port Elizabeth. pg 335