A few months ago a put up a blog post with a series of photographs from Troyeville. It has taken me a while but here is finally the blog post explaining a bit more about Troyeville.
Troyeville is one of Johannesburg’s historically rich suburbs that has a sense of grandeur as well as despair about it. While walking the streets of Troyeville you can tell that many years ago these streets were beautiful, filled with many happy memories, yet something has happened to Troyeville taking away these beautiful streets and leaving the suburb in desolation.
Many years ago Troyeville was home to several well known people, one of them being Mahatma Ghandhi. Ghandhi lived in 19 Albermarle Street in Troyeville with his family for two years in the early 1900s. In 2007 the City of Johannesburg declared this house a national monument, placing a plaque on the outside wall. Another man that played a big role in South African history that lived in Troyeville was David Webster. In 1989 Webster was murdered outside his house on Eleanor Street in Troyeville because of his involvement in the fight against apartheid. The front wall of the house is now decorated in honour of Webster.
Today Troyeville is a mixture of houses left abandoned and some that have been revamped and kept alive. There is one house in particular that sticks out, literally, above the rest. Right in the middle of graffiti covered walls and crumbling apartments is a beautiful Victorian Mansion that has been refurbished. It was originally built and owned by a man who made his fortune by selling dynamite to the mines. It was later used by the Salvation Army and has now been sold to an insurance company.
The other houses around Troyeville are built in the way that beautiful houses were built in the ‘olden days’. They still have that wonderfulness about them but have since sadly been forgotten about and left to turn to ruins.
The streets of Troyeville are all covered in graffiti. Not your usual graffiti of rude words and name tags but real artwork. Much of the graffiti is politically based such as one in particular that says “Wen worst comes to worst, my peoples comes first’. The graffiti brings a sort of colourful life to the suburb and has become part of the character of Troyeville.
There is a great deal of churches in Troyeville. The first Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa is located in Troyeville as well as the first Spiritualist Church. Today the churches are occupied by different religious congregations, still kept alive by the community.
Troyeville was once occupied by a large Portuguese community living in South Africa. There are a few Portuguese restaurants in the area, one of them being the Troyeville Hotel. The Troyeville Hotel is now home to many Springbok fans who gather in the restaurant on days that the Springboks are playing as Elis Park is very nearby.
Troyeville is an area in Johannesburg, like many other areas, that holds a great deal of character and with a bit of revamping and rejuvenation it can be like it was 100 years ago and possibly even better. Suburbs like Troyeville must not be forgotten.