Rissik Street post office in flames

#164. Lament the passing of the historic Rissik Street Post Office that was almost all but destroyed by a fire on Sunday night. I was in Cape Town at the time admiring the Stellenbosch winelands, thinking about the Dutch and how lucky they must have considered themselves when they landed in some of the most beautiful landscape on earth. Joburg doesn’t make the news in that city.

Rissik Street Post Office by Victor Dlamini for The Daily Maverick

Risski Street Post Office by Victor Dlamini for The Daily Maverick

SA’s newest smart online news source The Daily Maverick (still for people with brains and money) captured some dramatic images of the building in flames. To see more of them click here.

Said to be “the second to oldest building” in the city  according to Joburg’s website — the Rissik Street Post Office goes back to 1897. It was designed by designed by Sytze Wierda, President Paul Kruger’s architect. It has been vacant since the Post Office left the building in 1996.

Ironically I came across a great article on the architectural history of  the post office that carried this intro on August 11, 2008: “Is there finally light at the end of the tunnel for the Rissik Street Post Office …” It’s alight alright.

The city has been reporting that the fire destroyed the building just days before a scheduled meeting into tenders for its redevelopment.

4 thoughts on “Rissik Street post office in flames

  1. This is sickening! I bet it is arson caused by the ANCYL or their cronies, thugs, “komrades”, … sabotage? Another icon of Johannesburg’s former glory gone. The ANC MUST PAY for this and rebuild it.

  2. I am in agreement with at least one point, that the current provincial administration must do something to restore this magnificent piece of Transvaal Republic Architecture! I assure all that this grand old lady will not go down without a fight! We need to do more than just sit and chronicle the atrocities that are daily commited against this City’s heritage.

    I ask all those interested in forming committee acting for the restoration and further prevention of such damage to please contact me at calvinjamesm@yahoo.com or 0763502278 – We cannot , myself as a youth , just sit back complacently and watch our patrimony be allowed to disintergrate before our eyes! We are answerable to future genreations if we do! Now is the time to act..

  3. That is tragic. Although the place was under ‘restoration’ for ages. Perhaps some homeless folk pulled in and it all went south from there.

  4. Walked by recently and it’s now surrounded by scaffolding – but only the low kind to protect pedestrians from falling masonry. No sign of consolidation or renovation… no sign of any guards either.

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