Government House restored to original look

2015-05-12 09:17
The restored Government House now housing Unisa.

The restored Government House now housing Unisa. (Jonathan Burton)

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SPECIAL bricks for a special building.

After five years of planning and building, a 167-year-old government building in Pietermaritzburg has been restored with the help of 1 775 bricks.

Originally built in 1848 as a five-roomed thatched cottage, Unisa bought the old building in 2010 to house their regional campus.

During its existence, the old Government House had been extended and rooms had been added on and by 2010, it was in a state of disrepair.

Efforts to restore the old building began in 2004 when a heritage and conservation architect, Robert Brusse, was appointed to restore the building to its former grandeur.

Corobrik (Pty) Ltd said in a statement yesterday that Brusse approached the company in 2012 after all the planning, investigation, research, groundwork and preparation had been completed.

Corobrik was commissioned to produce the 1 775 bricks that had to be especially made.

“As with so many other restorations of heritage buildings, there was a need to replace weathered brickwork,” he said.

“… We tried to respect the integrity of this historic National Monument by repairing and restoring the buildings in the spirit in which the original structures were built,” said Brusse.

The process was long and tedious and needed hundreds of handmade bricks manufactured in the style of the 1900-era handmade salmon pink bricks used in the original historic buildings.

Today, Government House stands tall, having been restored to twice its original splendour. — WR

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