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Reserve Bank
Pretoria, Gauteng

BAKER and SCOTT: Architect
Francis (Frank) Leonard Hodgson FLEMING: Project Architect

Date:1927 - 1930
Type:Bank
Status:Extant
Street:Church Square


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25°44'44.69" S 28°11'17.80" E
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(Fleming 1985)

Cumming George 1933

THE HEAD OFFICE of the South African Reserve Bank on the north side of Church Square, Pretoria, has three frontages, towards the Square, the Palace of Justice, and the Pretoria Club respectively.

The main entrance facing the Square gives access to the ground floor level, while the fall of the ground northwards admits to the basement level from Vermeulen Street on the south. Upon a base of rock-faced granite, the ground storey 22 feet (6.71 metres) in height is of rock-faced Flatpan stone and carries three further floors rising to some seventy feet above street level; the whole superstructure is of dressed Flatpan stone with teak joinery. The roof is flat and affords fine views of the city and surrounding country.

The entrance doors and screens are of cast bronze and the domed vestibule panelled in slate has a number of strongly modelled reliefs representing sources of African wealth. The Banking Hall, 110 feet (33.53 metres) by 105 feet (32 metres), has lanterned domes of which the chief rises to 52 feet (15.85 metres) above the floor. The supports are monolith columns of Pretoria black granite 14 feet (4.27 metres) high with solid cast bronze caps and bases, and piers and bases of Belgian black marble. The bank fittings are of Indian teak.

The basements are largely given up to treasury and spacious strong rooms of very special construction and arrangement; the first floor has all the chief offices and the board room, while the second floor is occupied by the department for sorting and registration of notes. The third floor is for the most part at present held in reserve.

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


Writings about this entry

Baker, Herbert. 1944. Architecture & personalities. London: Country Life. pg 143
Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 67-68
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 198
Keath, Michael. 1992. Herbert Baker: Architecture and Idealism 1892 - 1913: The South African Years. Gibraltar: Ashanti Pub. Ltd.. pg 203
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 166, 167
Shorten, John R. 1963. Cape Town : A record of the Mother City from the earliest days to the present. Cape Town: JR Shorten in association with Shorten and Smith Publications. pg 289 ill