The Cultural Heritage Site Of The Anstey’s Building

659 words - 3 pages

About the Anstey’s building
According to UNESCO, heritage is considered to be our legacy from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations. This extract will specifically examine the cultural heritage site of the Anstey’s building, but prior to that, one must first define what cultural heritage is or is conceived to be. Cultural heritage is an embodiment of sites or people, particular to this investigation, cultural heritage sites are portrayed through architectural designs which display a certain uniqueness of that particular building. What is significant about the Anstey’s building is that it is a tangible site, its existence is still prevalent in this day and age, despite that its function have been altered to suit the usage of the time
According to the (heritage portal), The Anstey’s building was originally built as a department store in 1935, which was housed by Norman Anstey. The building was said to have ...view middle of the document...

What is evident is that art deco was a growing trend in South Africa and it was sought to be very fashionable at the time. (Joburg central site)
What is most intriguing about this building is its functions from the time it was resurrected in 1930’s to what it has become now. Prior to the present day, the Anstey’s department store occupied four levels: the first being the foyer, which still contains some of its “big floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and several brass frames with climbing brass monkeys”, which is still evident in this present day. The second and third floor occupied the department store and the fourth floor, housed a tea terrace which was filled by most of the elite. (Artefacts) What is evident in the present day is that this building has undergone a few transitions in terms of space and how it has been used. What was once a department store has now been converted into recreational space, educational and health facilities. What is evident now is that: the second floor at the Anstey’s has now turned into an HIV clinic, Zuzimpilo that accommodates for all the residents within the building and in-or-around Jeppe and Joubert. The third floor has been occupied as a crèche for the children who reside in the building and the fourth floor has been converted into a recreational space in which art projects and exhibitions get held from the residents. What is evident is that this building has undergone major transitions in terms of its function and the usage of space. (Joburg central site)
What was once considered an elitist building, is now accessible by a diverse people; when considering where the Anstey’s is demographically situated (on Jeppe and Joubert), it is almost unbelievable to imagine that an elite class of members of society once resided and used this space commercially. As is evident from the transformation of function in this building is that the streets that corner this building, also contribute to aesthetics of the building.

References
http://www.artefacts.co.za/main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=1021
http://www.heritageportal.co.za/venue/spaceatansteys
http://www.joburgcentral.co.za/show_article.php?articleid=354
http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/

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