St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Park St George's Park - Historic Conservatory Being Renovated
Historic Conservatory Being Renovated

The historic, 128-year-old Pearson Conservatory in Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park is undergoing a R5.5-million renovation.

Owned by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the conservatory was opened by commissioner of works for the Cape Colony John X Merriman on September 12, 1882.

Housing plant specimens among other things, the conservatory was named after HW Pearson , the mayor of Port Elizabeth at the time.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said its upgrading began in March and would be completed in August, adding that it was a Grade 2 listed building, “which means it is a provincial monument”.

“A large portion of the building and its components are in disrepair and must either be completely replaced or remedial work will be done,” he said. “The rotten timber main structure with steel frame components will be replaced and timber is being used for the replacement of window frames and doors and moulded fibreglass is proposed to replicate the original mouldings.

“The contours of these mouldings must be replicated from the south-west wing which still has the original elements.

“The north-east wing has different refurbished mouldings and is not to be used as a measurement point for any mouldings, components or features. The material selection is based on the plan to reinstate the building to its former grand character.”

Baron said the conservatory was designed and made by J Boyd of Scotland, adding “the building is a ‘kit of parts’, which means it was built in England and different parts of it were shipped to South Africa where it was put together”.

“The replacement components have been designed in the same modular system, allowing ease of installation and future maintenance and replacement of elements,” he added.

Luyolo Mkentane
The Herald
May 3, 2010

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