Pretoria Boys High School, Roper Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria

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GISKEY N/A
Condition Excellent
Date of origin 1910
Previous names Pretoria College
Place Waterkloof Hill
Street Roper Street
Town Pretoria
Magisterial district Tshwane
Province Gauteng
Country South Africa
GPS coordinates 25'45'38.15 S 38'13"26.74 E
Planning authority name PWD (Public works department)
Architect/Firm P.Eagle
Project architect/Designer P.Eagle
Commissioning owner Transvaal Colony
Current owner University of Pretoria
Current occupant Pretoria Hoys High School
Previous uses Farm Elandspoort no 193 where the British army hospital camp was based.
Current use Public High school
Classification/Typology Sandstone building, English Classic Revivalist style
Google maps will be placed here


Contents

Significance

At the time of its construction it was the most expensive and prestigious of the new schools built under the new British administration and has come to represent one of the oldest and most established schools in the city of Pretoria.

Facade2.jpg
With time the building has evolved (partly in appearance) and has come to represent one of the oldest and most established schools in the city of Pretoria. It still representsa top state school, over a century after it was built, although now in a very changed South Africa. Its design is redolent of a different era but it has come to represent traditional values and high standards in a modern world.The buildings represent the influence of British Colonialism in the Transvaal Colony after its annexation in 1900. Their role was partly to put education on a firm footing in the new colonyand partly to achieve a policy of Anglicization among the white population. The school represented many of the values of English public schools of the time.
With time the building has evolved (partly in appearance) and has come to represent one of the oldest and most established schools in the city of Pretoria. It still representsa top state school, over a century after it was built, although now in a very changed South Africa. Its design is redolent of a different era but it has come to represent traditional values and high standards in a modern world.

Current known heritage status

In the 1970’s the facades of the original four school buildings (the main building and the three boarding houses) were declared a National monument. A ceremony was held in 1978 in front of the main school building and was presided over by the then Minister of Education, Mr Piet Koornhof.

Possible interested and affected parties

Currently the land that the school is located on is owned by the University of Pretoria but as the school has only grown and become more successful, it will remain a school for many years to come. <span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 14px; " />

The school’s beautiful campus and well maintained facilities are testament to the respected and successful design that is over a century old. Thanks to all teachers and headmasters who have moulded the school into what is has become today. The school’s has a reputation as an educational establishment proves it will continue to stand proud as a recognized symbol of great architecture.

History

Stone2.jpg

The Pretoria College (later PBHS) was one of the so-called Milner Schools set up under Alfred Lord Milner after Britain assumed control of the Transvaal during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

The school was first founded in 1901 by Charles Hope. It was the responsibility of the British to establish schools within the colony. Pretoria Boys High School, then known as Pretoria College, was housed in the Staats Model School Building in Pretoria City centre, on the corner of Skinner and Van der Walt street.
The school was relocated to its current grounds eight years later when money was granted for the establishment of a new school building. The foundation stone was laid in July 1908 and the building was completed in 1909. With Mr GL Thomas as acting headmaster, the grand opening of the school was in April of 1909.

In 1910 it adopted its current name, Pretoria Boys High School, when Pretoria College merged with the Eendracht School. This year also marked the year the Union of South Africa came into being. This was also when the school became dual-medium and it  remained that way until the establishment of the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in 1920.

Description of alterations with dates affected

In 1914 construction for an additional boarding house commenced and was completed in 1915. It was named School House.

<span style="line-height: 19.200000762939453px;" />During the 1920’s PBHS merged with two smaller local schools, the White House School and a Commercial High School. 

Much later in 1963, the old Edwardian arched hall was demolished to build a larger, more modern hall.The intake of new students required the first expansion of the main building to accommodate all the students with the addition of new classrooms and in 1921 a second storey was introduced to the southern wings.
Further addition in the form of two new wings was added in 1965.
 
In 1948 the central dome that was located above the library was burnt down and for many years the
dome was simply closed off by a flat slab. After some time Mr EE Penzhorn from the Public Works Department researched the original design and reconstructed the dome in the same style and using the same materials specified in the original plans of the 1908 construction.
In 1929 there was a memorial added to the main building in memory of the twenty-eight men who died in the war who were a part of PBHS, either as pupils or teachers. The memorial consisted of a plinth with the names of the men above the main entrance of the main building. There was also an eternal flame, a clock above the memorial and bells added to the east tower. In 1954 another memorial was added to commemorate the men who gave their lives in the Second World War. It in located in the foyer of the main building.

Memorial2.jpg

Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces

The buildings were in the fashion of the English Classic Revivalist style. The architect, P. Eagle, may have also been influenced by his association with Sir Herbert Baker, possibly in the choice of sandstone as a material, similarly to the design of the Union buildings which sits at a distant opposite to the main school building.  The original plans show much more extensive use of sandstone in the first version of the main building.

The interior spaces are vast and typical of an English Classical style with high ceilings, rounded arches, and columns.
The façade of the main building shows the characteristics of Classical design with strict proportions and symmetry, repetitive columns, gables and large doorways and entrance foyer.

The buildings design takes great influence from the work of Sir Herbert Baker’s design of the Union Buildings.

Links

http://www.boyshigh.com/index.php?page=briefhistory

http://www.pbhsob.com/index.php?page=theschool

Sources

Illsley, J. (2000). Pretoria Boys High: the story of a South African school 1901-2001. Pretoria: Pretoria Boys High School.

Illsley, M. J. (2012, May 18). PBHS History. (C.-L. Delmar, Interviewer)
Pretoria Boys High School - Old boys association. (2011). Retrieved May 18, 2012, from http://www.pbhsob.com/index.php?page=theschool

Pretoria Boys High School. (2011). Retrieved May 18, 2012, from http://www.boyshigh.com/index.php?page=briefhistory

Photos

Nat.Arch 117.JPG

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