Walking Long Street, by Desmond Martin

Walking Long Street, Cape Town, by Desmond Martin. Struik Publishers. Cape Town, South Africa 2007. ISBN 9781770075085 / ISBN 978-1-77007-508-5

Walking Long Street, Cape Town, by Desmond Martin. Struik Publishers. Cape Town, South Africa 2007. ISBN 9781770075085 / ISBN 978-1-77007-508-5

Walking Long Street introduces Cape Town's best-loved street with architectural and historical commentary and personal anecdotes from the 1950s.

Desmond Martin  

I lived in Long Street: In mid-year 1954, as a young lad of seventeen, I moved into my first home-from-home, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) at 44 Long Street (see illustration opposite). In the year that followed I began a love affair with the buildings around my new home, a fascination that has been an unbroken romance for half a century. Thus Long Street became my Long Street. Fifty years on the time had arrived to document in word and watercolour the story of the street's older buildings and, with the YMCA as the nodal point, to record selected incidents from my youth while living at that illustrious address, the stage on which these stories were played out. If by illustration and anecdote the conservation of Long Street can be enhanced, my time will have been well spent. Instead of terming this an introduction, I prefer to call it a pre-amble as it begs to be read before any visit or walk is attempted in Long Street. The emphasis is on 'amble', which means to move at an easy pace. When you examine the old buildings, scan the merchandise in the shop windows or simply enjoy the ambiance of a street of a bygone era - you dare not rush. For the lovers of architectural styles that pre-date the coming of the modern concrete-framed office blocks (that differ little from one city to the next), there is an amazing variety of buildings to view, each with its very own frivolous and often meaningless ornamentations. But all of them ask to be remembered and make mute appeals to be photographed so that, should you have come to Cape Town from a distant town or land, you will have a pleasurable record of your amble in Long Street. I have therefore included a few practical walking tips at the end of this pre-amble that could ensure that your day is both memorable and trouble free. And for those who dabble with watercolours I have also added some explanatory comments about my illustrations. In more serious vein, in the following section I have attempted to explain how Long Street has managed to survive the demolitions that accompanied the accelerated property development in Cape Town since the 1950s. My overview pays tribute to the remarkable efforts made by various individuals and organizations to protect and conserve Long Street as a valuable grouping of historical buildings.

Example: NO. 59 Long Street (crn of Horn Street)

Langham House (formerly the Langham Hotel) Though the 'Langham' is no longer a hotel, the building still has the air of the quiet boarding house where the more elderly, moneyed folk used to end their days in comfort. At least this is the opinion I held of its residents as I stood on the YMCA verandah across the street in 1954/55 and caught glimpses of the Langham's patrons. The hotel was built in the early 1940s as the lift is dated 1941. The Langham's most attractive feature is its two-storey verandah that stands on small brick (faggot) piers with sandstone bases above the pavement (sidewalk). In its earlier days it was enclosed and a pleasant spot to dine when the winter sun was low in the sky. The walls are of red facebrick up to first floor level, then plastered for two storeys with bands of brick on the top floor. In contrast with the flat roofs and windows of the buildings around it, the sloping red tile roofs and timber shutters of the Langham add to its mellow suburban character. (...)

This is an excerpt from the book: Walking Long Street, Desmond Martin.

Title: Walking Long Street, Cape Town
Author: Desmond Martin
Struik Publishers
Cape Town, South Africa 2007
ISBN 9781770075085/ ISBN 978-1-77007-508-5
Softcover, 24x32 cm, 112 pages, throughout illustrated

Martin, Desmond im Namibiana-Buchangebot

Walking Long Street

Walking Long Street

Walking Long Street introduces Cape Town's best-loved street with architectural and historical commentary and personal anecdotes from the 1950s.

The Bishop's Churches

The Bishop's Churches

The Bishop's Churches documents the churches established by Robert Gray, the first Bishop of Cape Town.

Weitere Buchempfehlungen

Walking Cape Town: Urban walks and drives in the Cape Peninsula

Walking Cape Town: Urban walks and drives in the Cape Peninsula

The perfect companion for the urban sightseer, Walking Cape Town features 33 easy urban walks and drives in the Cape Peninsula.

Murder by Consent. The Facts in the Tragedy of Baron von Schauroth

Murder by Consent. The Facts in the Tragedy of Baron von Schauroth

Murder by Consent is an most interesting investigation of the shooting, facts and tragedy of Baron von Schauroth in Cape Town in 1961.

Cooked in Africa

Cooked in Africa

Cooked in Africa takes you on a relaxing and layed back cooking journey through southern Africa.

One Love, Ghoema Beat - Inside The Cape Town Carnival

One Love, Ghoema Beat - Inside The Cape Town Carnival

One Love, Ghoema Beat offers a comprehensive look at the minstrel troupes that are the exuberant face of Cape Town's Carnival.