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Central Fire Station
Johannesburg, Gauteng

Charles McRobbie SMALL: Architect

Type:Fire Station


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26°12'30.06" S 28°02'44.32" E Alt: 1747m

(SAB Jan 1931:43 tend; Cumming-George 1933:47, 49; Van der Waal 1987:182)

Cumming George 1933

JOHANNESBURG's new Fire Station is one that is worthy of so important a city, for, in every way it is one of the most modern establishments of its kind in the world.

The principal block has a frontage on Kruis Street occupying a site approximately 208 ft. square (19.32 m square). The building is bounded by Frederick, Von Brandis, Albert and Kruis Streets.

The watchroom, the key position to the whole building, is on the north of the engine room, and from this watchroom, the duty man has immediate communication with all departments either internally or within the city's boundaries, in the event of a call. The engine room, measuring 82 ft. by 40 ft. (25 by 12,2 m), provides accommodation for seven fire engines.

The building is a very handsome one, severe in treatment but extremely dignified in appearance. The whole building constitutes various departments built round a drill-square, with an open flat roof which provides ample laundry space and generous playing ground for the firemen's children. The ground floor consists of engine room, offices, watchroom and instrument rooms, ambulance room; residential quarters and workshops.

The residential quarters consist of twelve two-bedroom flats, and thirteen three-bedroom flats with an entirely private balcony for each. Each set of quarters is provided with its own wash-house with hot and cold water laid on to washing troughs. A full-size tennis court is built on the roof of the workshops block.

The basement contains store room, electrical workshops and motor room, with the boiler house at the west end. For the single men there is a reading room, card room, mess room and billiard room on the first floor above the engine room, and on the second floor above this same room, recreation room, gymnasium and twelve bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

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

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 47-49
van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pg 182 ill