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Marks Building - Gundelfinger - Metro Cycle House
Pretoria, Gauteng

Wilhelm (Wim) Johannes DE ZWAAN: Architect

Client:Sammy Marks


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25°44'44.81" S 28°11'40.15" E Alt: 1318m

Marks Building, also called Gundelfinger because he, a wholesale merchant, and Metro Cycle House, because they occupied a large part of it.

The building is extant and has been incorporated into Sammy Marks Square.

Excerpt from a report by GM van der Waal of the Centre for SA Art and Architecture which was probably influential in saving the building.

  • Is the only commercial and wholesale building of its style in the Transvaal and probably in the RSA;
  • Is historical for art and an important illustration of the development of the architecture of Pretoria;
  • Is the only surviving commercial building in the RSA comprising a row of identical small and prominent shops;
  • Was an important commercial building of its time;
  • Was for many decades a characteristic landmark and orientation point in the city centre;
  • Is one of the most important buildings in Pretoria dating from this period;
  • Is of pleasing aesthetic composition and finishes;
  • Is built of good material and sturdy construction;
  • The interior of timber creates a change to another orientation and the use is easy and reasonably simple;

(Extracted and translated from Restorica No 8:16)

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Writings about this entry

Jooste, Deon. 1980. Oudste gebou in Pretoria bedreig. Restorica 8. pp 16
Allen, Vivien. 1971. Kruger's Pretoria: buildings and personalities of the city in the nineteenth century. Cape Town: Balkema. pg 156
Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J & Fisher, Roger C. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pg 201
Dunston, Lola & Dunston, Tom. 1975. Young Pretoria 1889-1913. Pretoria: Dunston. pg 28, 140, 148, 150 ill, 154, 158
Mendelsohn, Richard. 1991. Sammy Marks : the uncrowned king of the Transvaal. Cape Town: David Philip, Ohio University Press in association with Jewish Publications-South Africa. pg 156