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Cullinan Building
Johannesburg, Gauteng

LECK and EMLEY: Architect
Mattheus Carel August MEISCHKE: Contractor

Status:Demolished 1966
Street:71-7 Main St


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26°12'24.24" S 28°02'22.07" E Alt: 1766m

(Afr Archt Sep 1912:48; SAAR May 1937:239)

Transcription of Blue plaque:

Cullinan Building
The Cullinan Building was a superb
building replaced on this site by another
fine office block, the Standard Bank
. Built for Thomas Cullinan, founder
of the Premier Diamond Mining Company, it
was designed in 1904 by Leck and
Emley. The Cullinan Building was part of an
elegant streetscape with arcades and
speciality shops. It was demolished
in 1966, and its lintel was
re-erected here in 2009.

Transcription of framed photograph on lintel:

In 1904, Tom Cullinan purchased four stands in Main Street from EW Tarry & Company for £35 000. Being amongst other ventures a building contractor; he was determined to build an outstanding office building to house his various companies. The building was designed by Messrs William Leck and Francis Emley who had already designed the Corner House on the corner of Simmonds and Commissioner Streets. The building cost £80 000 and contained the finest finishes with the best materials which the leading craftsman of the day could source.

The Cullinan family was very proud of this building and very particular as to whom they let offices. Sir Thomas, his son Tommy, the secretary and staff of Consolidated Rand Brick, Pottery and Lime Company occupied offices on the ground floor The Premier Diamond Mining Company occupied the fourth floor, where T D Edington, the company secretary, had his office and where diamonds were sorted behind closed doors. The balance of space was let largely to lawyers and accountants who found the paneled offices and wide corridors to their liking. Prior to the demolition of the building in 1966, one of the tenants was the catering outlet, 'The Shop Around the Corner' which now operates across Main Street and continues a tradition which was established many years ago.

Submitted by Derek Walker via William Martinson.

These notes were last edited on 2020 08 18

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

Cartwright, Alan Patrick. 1977. Diamonds and clay. Cape Town ; New York: Purnell. pg
Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pg 42 ill, 48-49, 48 ill
van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pg 137, 140 ill