Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Losing Designs for the Public Library

The erection of this library was made possible by a donation from the Estate of William Savage and a subsidy from the Colonial Government. Hence the hall was named the Savage Memorial Hall in commemoration. The winning design was submitted by the architect Henry (Harry) Arthur Cheers. Orlando Middleton was selected as the Project Architect.

Two other designs were submitted.

Main picture: The runner-up designed by Bateman & Bateman

An architectural competition was held to design the Public Library and Hall. The design in second position was submited by Messrs. Bateman & Bateman and H.T. Buckland of Birmingham. It must have resonated with members of the Royal Academy as the drawing was hung in the Architectural Room of the Academy.

The materials proposed to be used were roughcast on common brickwork, with stone dressings, and green slates on the roof. A special feature was made externally and internally of the Savage Memorial Hall in the centre of the building, which was to be used as the general reading room.

Third design


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