Lost Artefacts of Port Elizabeth: WM Cuthberts and Co Building

Technically this building has not been lost as it still exists. Rather the problem relates to inappropriate alterations which have destroyed the façade of the building making it unrecognisible. 

Main picture: WM Cuthberts & Co Building

According to the website Artefacts, “this 7-storey building was once one of the landmarks of the city, partly because it was one of the tallest in the city when constructed and partly due to the eye-catching globe that adorned the top of the corner turret. Sadly, the tower and the globe were lost, together with the ground floor canopy and first floor balcony. The body of the building has been concealed by a rain screen cladding, since the 1950’s. Firstly in aluminium but this was replaced in later years by blue glass. It is unclear what remains of the original facade behind. The result is that the building is unrecognisable, and many assume it was demolished. The side elevation is still, however, visible and some elements of the original can still be made out.”

Building in Port Elizabeth from The Veld in Jan 1903


Cuthbert’s Building

Cuthbert’s Building

Cuthbert’s Building after being revamped






  1. That’s not a revamp…more like a total destruction of beautiful architecture. 30 years ago, main street was still quite beautiful. I drove down there a week ago & almost cried to see the state of most older buildings.Thanks for these beautiful pictures..


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