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News > Archives & History > Geoff De Wet visits the archives to delve deep into Bishops' architects' history.

Geoff De Wet visits the archives to delve deep into Bishops' architects' history.

An OD architect recently visited the Archives to research a prominent OD Architect. Invaluable information was uncovered from a scarce book written by Michael Walker (1967O), on Bishops' architects.
L to R - Geoff De Wet (1964G) with Paul Murray the ODA.
L to R - Geoff De Wet (1964G) with Paul Murray the ODA.

OD Architect Geoff de Wet recently visited the archives to do research on Joseph Solomon - for further details of the life of Solomon, visit the site 

Joseph Solomon was at Bishops from 1897 to 1904.  He was also the school architect between the years 1916 and 1920.  It is reported that Solomon was regarded as one of the most talented and brilliant architects Bishops has produced (from Michael Walker, The Architects of Diocesan College, Shumani Printers, St James, September 2014, p.29).

A previous staff member working at the ODU, Nicole Durand (subsequently Nicole Little) penned an article on Joseph Solomon that caught the eye of Geoff de Wet, a Cape Town practising architect. For this article, please go to

Possibly Solomon's great achievement was that he was appointed the UCT architect for the new university's upper campus. 

Unfortunately, he was appointed as sole architect with tragic repurcussions.  He had till then executed only a few works so his performance could not be judged adequately.  To his credit, however, he had worked to refurbish the Old Town House on Greenmarket Square in the city centre in 1917; but the size of that project was not nearly on the scale of the new UCT buildings.  

It is said but is subject to confirmation that when he modelled Jamie Hall / Sarah Baartman Hall, he drew his lines from his House at Bishops which was Founders. 

Solomon loved doodling during lessons, especially creating images of some of his teachers; one of them he drew was George Walter Vipan, himself an OD, but the sketch was confiscated, which is the one visible inside the link (above) to Nicole's article. 

Solomon was also responsible for an ink drawing of the Founder, Robert Gray.

When Geoff de Wet visited the archives, hopefully he left with more information than he had expected getting!

He certainly connected and engaged with a rich OD history in the field of Architecture.









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