Development at the Cape
|The appearance of
Cape Town altered markedly during the British period. The merchants deplored
the 'rural' character of the town, with its smells and unpaved roads and stray
animals. Officials were concerned for the health aspects of the open canals.
Thus regeneration projects covered the canals and sewers with paved streets.
New markets were opened beyond the city to keep farm stock outside. Stray
animals were cleared away.
Meanwhile, modern shops appeared, with display windows. The
VOC's trading rules had driven trade 'indoors', out of sight, and this
continued as a tradition. But in 1842 the first plate glass shop front was
installed, and by the end of the century Cape Town centre had largely replaced
its Dutch appearance with large commercial properties, some built using steel
frame structures such as Stuttaford's and Garlicks, the first department
Houses took on a markedly English appearance, contrasting a new 'town' style
with the 'rural' Dutch. In reaction to dangers of fire-prone thatch, and the
'glare' of whitewash, the British built in red brick with tiled roofs.
Delicate furniture, carpets, drapes and curtains, plastered
ceilings, Georgian windows, wallpaper and regency ornamentation stood in sharp
and modern contrast to the heavy furniture, beams and plain rooms of the Dutch
Along the Peninsula large English Country houses were built
among the farmlands. With the introduction of a regular horse drawn bus
services these areas became popular and grew into commuter suburbs such as
Newlands, Wynberg and Rondebosch, for the professional middle class and civil
On the outskirts of the city, in District 6, long lines of
terraced houses were developed for the poor.
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