Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

List of Projects

OBEL, Louis Theodore

Born: 1897
Died: 1955 04 15


Worked mainly in Durban from around 1929. He was born in Cape Town and educated at the Jewish School, Johannesburg. He was apprenticed to H KALLENBACH (n.d.) and attended the South African School of Mines and Technology (where he presumably attended the classes in architecture) and studied also at the Architectural Association in London and at the American Academy in Rome. By about 1929 Obel was in partnership with HH GRANT in Durban (cf. OBEL & GRANT), the partnership lasted until about 1934; he appears to have been in partnership with his brother Mark OBEL in Johannesburg at the same time (cf. OBEL & OBEL). There was a further association from 1938 to 1941 in Durban between LT Obel, AG FROLICH and R OPPENHEIM (cf. OBEL & FROLICH). Obel went to the United States in 1939 where he studied town planning at Columbia University, New York. He was joined by his brother in 1941 and returned to South Africa in 1947. He married in America. Obel was a Freemason, one time Vice-President of the FC Hollander Lodge and recipient of the Hebrew Order of David. He lived in Durban for some time but later returned to the Transvaal. He died at his home, 55 Circle Court, Johannesburg.

The only likely name in the AA register is that of an 'Obell, L. J. 1921/22 – 1 term only', probably the name was copied down incorrectly from the original register (which we no longer have). (Edward Bottoms, Archivist, Architectural Association, 2011)

ISAA 1927. (Hillebrand 1985; Hillebrand 1986; ISAA mem list; Norwich 1985; SAAR May 1955:47 death notice; SAB Jul 1928:53; SA Jewish Yr Bk:5689-90*; TAD MHG 2224/55)

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

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Albany Hotel - Mayfair Hotel: 1937 : 1939. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Manhattan Court: 1937. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shops, offices for Mr Segell: 1928. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect

Books citing OBEL

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp O1