Thursday, 9 March 2017

We struck gold, in the City of Gold!

So, it's official. We've sold Haus Gruben (the transfer is currently in full swing), and will be taking occupation of our new home on 1st April!! But this is no 'ordinary' home. After weeks and weeks of trawling property rental ads online, and going along to a handful of viewings with estate agents, we finally stumbled across this absolute gem in none other than Whitehall Court - a pristine heritage building in the heart of Killarney, and arguably one of the prettiest buildings in the city!

It's a 150 square metre, two-bedroom two-bathroom, first floor lock-up-and-go. Both bedrooms and the lounge lead out onto a private balcony, which has a view of The Wilds nature reserve, and there is a view of the formal courtyard garden from the windows above the kitchen sink. One bathroom has a clawfoot tub, the other a shower. Killarney Park is across the street, Killarney Mall is a three-minute walk away, and it's an easy eight-minute drive to Goran's school in Houghton. 

The history of the suburb and the building is an interesting one. In 1899, a small section of the Braamfontein farm was bought by Irishman William Cooke, who named his farm after the town of Killarney in Ireland. In 1905, American-born Rand film magnate Isadore William Schlesinger bought Cooke's farm, and the township of Killarney was proclaimed in 1906. Between 1914 and 1916, Schlesinger built African Film Studios, on the land where Killarney Mall now stands. In the early 1920s Schlesinger built Whitehall Court adjacent to the studios, to serve as both his private residence and offices. The mansion was later converted to 36 sectional title units of varying sizes. Other apartment blocks sprung up in the neighbourhood over the following decades, totaling almost 60 today, with at least half a dozen authentic Art Deco beauties nestled amongst them.

I am a huge fan of good architecture, and it's going to be an absolute privilege to spend time getting to know such a special space! Going back to apartment living may be a bit of an adjustment for me and Lee, especially now that we're parents (the last time we lived in a flat or a townhouse was waaay before Goran came along!), but they say a change is as good as a holiday. And I am totally looking forward to living closer to KEPS and spending way less time in traffic.

Below are some pics I snapped on my iPhone a week ago, when the estate agent took us to view the empty unit, as well as some other pics I found online. Once we're settled in, I'll upload another post with more personal pics, showing it looking more like 'home'. Being a rental, we're obviously limited in terms of what we can do decor-wise, but I'm super excited about putting my own creative stamp on the place.

Above: View of Killarney beyond The Wilds, from the viewpoint on The Munro Drive, with Northcliff hill on the left in the background. Goran's school is just at the top of The Munro Drive, opposite The Munro Boutique Hotel.