Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Phoenix Hotel

Everybody who has grown up in Port Elizabeth must have been to the Stage Door at some point during their misspent youth. What is fascinating is that the Phoenix Hotel has been in operation since the early 1840s, first in Market Square, and since 1941 at 5 Chapel Street, making it the oldest operating hotel in Port Elizabeth.

Main picture: The original Phoenix Hotel located in Market Square

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Legacy of Henry Fancourt White

Like all the major roads up from the centre of town to the top of the hill, these roads were originally kloofs with streams, jagged rocks and steep cliffs. So it was with White’s Road. The original steep embankments on either side precluded the construction of buildings except for the Opera House. Except in historical circles is the engineer in charge, Henry Fancourt White, today remembered for his legacy. Even his name has been obliterated, being replaced with the name, John Kani. Despite this iniquity, he will be recalled by golfers in an elite manor house in George, renamed in his honour as Fancourt.

This is the story of this significant road in Port Elizabeth’s history.

Main Picture: This is the earliest extant photograph that I can find of White’s Road. It shows the devastation after the torrential rains of 20th and 21st November 1867. 

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