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Fort Drury Mansions
Bloemfontein, Free State

HARRISON and FYVIE: Architect

Date:c1930
Type:Unknown
Status:Demolished 1990s

Cumming-George 1933

IN Bloemfontein, a very interesting experiment started with a block of some thirty flats, catering for varying incomes and which included communal advantages only obtainable by grouping a large number of families within a limited area.

These flats stand outside the town on the site of an old fort, Fort Drury. The site chosen is perfect, commanding, as it does, extensive views of the surrounding country, while still in close proximity with the business life of Bloemfontein.

The size of the flats ranges from the bachelor type, consisting of a bed-sitting room, entrance lobby and bathroom, to the larger type consisting of entrance hall, lounge, dining room, two bedrooms, kitchenette and bathroom. Each flat is self-contained, with private stoep, with various built-in conveniences. Hot water is supplied from a central heating installation, electric cookers are supplied, and ice-making refrigerators are added to those flats which require them. The rents are extremely moderate for such accommodation, and include the supply of constant hot water and service.

A wing of the building is devoted to a large dining-room with necessary kitchen and offices, and this is used by tenants so desiring, who wish to be relieved of cooking. The buildings group round a central court with arched covered ways and pergolas. In front are a series of garages available to the tenants at equally reasonable charges, and this rental includes the cleaning of the car.

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Fort Drury Mansions and King's Court, were demolished in favour of four new office buildings. The National Monuments Council gave permission for the two apartment buildings to be demolished on condition that an archaeologist be appointed to search for any remains of the city's first fort, Fort Drury, which was built on this site in 1846.

(Extracted from South African Journal of Cultural History, Volume 13, Issue 2, Nov 1999, p. 1 - 19 accessed 2017 08 22)


Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 150