Port Elizabeth of Yore: Building’s name reflects change

Most buildings bear the same name throughout their life. This assumes that its name is not that of the tenant. In South Africa’s case, there is another reason for name change: politics. In this process, many buildings since 1994 have been renamed to reflect the new political order. In the case of this building, it has had to suffer the indignity of two names, each one to reflect this change.

In this process the Colonial Mutual Life [CML] building was renamed Pleinhuis and ultimately Noninzi Luzipho. In the case of the sale by CML in 1980 of this four storey Art Deco style building on the corner of Baakens Street and Whites Road evoked concerns regarding “insensitive changes.”

Main picture: The CML Building per La Femme 28 Aug 1996

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