Emmanuel Cathedral, Cathedral Road, 1903

Emmanuel Cathedral, Cathedral Road, 1903

One of the most exciting things about visiting a new city, whether you’re conscious of it or not, is the architecture. Buildings, especially great ones, tell a story about the people and the places they were built for. Whether it’s a sky-reaching Cathedral trying to get closer to God, or the Brutalist architecture of government institutions, buildings often hint at far more than the bricks and mortar that they’re made out of. So a compilation of drawings by second-year Natal School of Architecture students, dating from 1960 to 1995, makes for a fascinating and important document that tells a pictorial story of the recent history of Durban. The compilation, A Measure of the Past, was produced by eThekwini Living Legend, Rodney Harber, in collaboration with Michele Jacobs and Brian Kearney.

Monaltrie, Musgrave Road, 1897

Monaltrie, Musgrave Road, 1897

Along similar lines, and something that will also be of interest to Durban residents, is the Street-Wilson Drawing Collection which includes a selection of drawings by architect William Street-Wilson. Street-Wilson was born in England, but moved to Durban at the age of 31. He was responsible for Pietermaritzburg’s City Hall, along with a number of iconic Durban buildings, such as08 Grey Street’s  Emmanuel Cathedral.

A Measure of the Past and the Street-Wilson Drawing Collection are available for purchase directly from the authors, Brian Kearney, rebt@telkomsa.net and Michele Jacobs, gijimajacobs@gmail.com.