5 to 12 at City Hall

The Port Elizabeth City Hall really is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Port Elizabeth.  Did you know City Hall was originally built between 1858 and 1862 with the clock tower being added in 1883.

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Swartkops Power Station

The Swartkops Power Station next to the Swartkops River is one of those landmarks that has become part of the city scape over the years yet I don't think a lot of people know much about it.  So in case you don't know its story, here goes. The provision of electricity in Port Elizabeth begun in 1906 with the establishment of the Electricity Works.  This supplied fifteen private consumers and thirty street lamps with electricity.  As industry in the area grew and the volume…



There is quite a number of interesting and historic buildings in the area around Market Square in the city centre. One of those which is just across the road from the City Hall is Pleinhuis. The building belongs to the municipality and houses amongst others the offices of the portfolio councillors on the mayoral committee. Like so many other buildings built in Port Elizabeth at that time, Pleinhuis was built in the Art Deco style. When I passed it the…


Gargoyle birds

On the top of Plein Huis across the road from Market Square there is a number ornamental birds. They actually look like they should rather be Gargoyles than birds, but what do I know about those ugly fellas that usually sit on top of buildings scanning the ground? My theory for these birds are that they were put there to stop actual birds from sitting on the top of the building messing on the walls and possible the heads of…


power drain

This blog seems to be taking on a life of its own. Soon we will retire our cameras and let you guys do all the work! In response to Jan de Wet's photo of the power wasting Post Office yesterday, Louise Eksteen sent this montage, with the following comment:"Brian and I drove around on a Sunday evening, to see how our Council was contributing to the national effort to cut down on unnecessary use of power. Brian then sent these…


Eishkom blues…..

Another guest photographer today..... This stunning photo was sent to us by Jan de Wet, who has spectacular views of the bay from his home. He wrote:"I took the pic of the post office during a power outage in Richmond Hill(!) the owners of the building (South African Post Office) assured me that there were people working that night, however, I never told them that I have a 24-hour view of the building from my lounge and these lights have…


This place could do with a re-birth

This tatty looking building (admittedly made worse by the fact that it was photographed through the windscreen on a wet and miserable day recently) is where a huge number of Port Elizabethans (including our son) were born... it is the old maternity wing of the Provincial Hospital. Definitely in need of some tlc, but given the abysmal state of the Health Department in this province, I imagine it is low on the list of priorities.


Lift off

Here's a view of the Port Elizabeth Airport that is not commonly seen. Viewed from across the runway, a plane clears the ground as it gets past the arrivals hall of the airport. (It is a little blurry, but as you will realise, it was moving really fast!) It doesn't matter how many times I see this, or how much I know about the theory of aerodynamics, I still find it awesome when a huge heavy metal object full of…


Public Swimming Bath

Well, it's hard not to look at this and be rendered speechless..... this rather ugly 1930s public swimming baths building is in St George's Park. Someone with a sense of humour obviously decided "if you can't beat them, join them!" and made it stand out like a sore thumb in the otherwise serene leafy park. The effect is enhanced by the spectacular flowers in front of the entrance!


Hideousness from the 80s

This is the Mount Road Police Station. It is hideous on many levels, the most apparent being the austere looking architecture which is typical of many apartheid era government buildings. There is a sort of repressive nazi look about them before you even know what went on inside. This building has a nasty history. It was previously called Louis Le Grange Square, named after the then Minister of Law and Order, who was responsible for some of the worst human…