In September last year Cape Town’s South African Reserve Bank building – one of the city’s least known yet most fascinating landmarks – changed hands. It was bought by the Board of Executors, the oldest trust company in South Africa, and although the deed of sale was signed in 1968, transfer was delayed until 1975 when the Reserve Bank’s new foreshore premises were ready.
Situated in the old, conservative heart of Cape Town – between Adderley, Wale and St George’s Streets – this magnificent old building styled on the lines of Florence’s Pitti Palace, has the distinction of occupying the highest municipally rated land in the country.
But it is the building itself and its quaint history, probably never before publicised, that deserve attention. It forms yet another fascinating facet of the mother city, and it is thanks to the beautifully handwritten notes compiled by one of its architects that we know as much about it as we do. In fact the writer, Mr Reg de Smidt ARIBA, who passed his notes on to the Board of Executors, concluded by expressing the hope “that this description will be of interest, since I am under the impression that I am the only man alive who could supply it”.
Extract from an article reproduced on the HeritagePortal as One of Cape Town’s least known yet most fascinating landmarks and which come from the Restorica archives written by M.A.P. Diemont Jr. ‘Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish. Restorica is the old journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation, today the Heritage Association of South Africa‘.