Suburb Growth

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A historical investigation into the Sea Point beachfront as a public open space throughout the 20th century with special reference to memories of growing up along the Sea Point Promenade by Leila Emdon.

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Chapter Two – The growth of a suburb: the Development of Sea Point in the late 19th century to the 1950s

In the late 1890s the Sea Point sea front area was more of a small village than the large busy suburb it is today. In the late 19th, early 20th century the sea front was inhabited by large estates owned mostly by upper class citizens. Their gardens cascaded as far down as the sea front and their houses were massive. From the 1800s Sea Point was clearly an area associated with wealth and was exclusively reserved for the upper classes. From as early as the 1700s the first exclusive recreational centre known as “Society House” was in full swing in 1767.5 However it is only in 1839 that Green and Sea Point became part of the Cape Town municipality. Before this, the area remained quite independent from the rest of Cape Town. Shortly after the promulgation of the Municipal Ordinance of 1839, properties of Green and Sea Point were evaluated for rates. At this time there were only forty-six properties in all.6 This gives an idea of how empty Sea Point was during this time.

Availability of public transport

Old Hotels, Estates of the Beach Road and Main Road Area

Growing up in Sea Point. 1930s-1950s

A Peaceful Suburb

Sea Point Pools

Childhood and Teenage Memories of the beaches and promenade

Rocklands and Saunders Beach – The good old days

Recreational activities for the youth

Teenage Life

World War Two and Sea Point

The exclusive utopia of Sea Point – Sea Point and Apartheid

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