A phase II heritage report relating to the proposed expansion work at the Lichtenburg Correctional Facility, Lichtenburg, North West Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Maxim Planning Solutions, to conduct a phase II cultural heritage study for the proposed expansion work at the Lichtenburg Correctional facility. The study is the result of a phase I heritage impact assessment done in August 2009 which recommended a phase II study. This is situated in the town of Lichtenburg in the Northwest Province.

The current facility consists of the original jail building which have been added to over the lapse of time. The original building is of a heritage importance and so are some of the additions. A house on the northeastern corner of the block and to which some renovations are planned is also of a heritage importance. The phase I study recommended the following with relation to these buildings:

? None of the buildings may be demolished or even partially demolished until such time as a thorough phase II heritage report was done, determining the exact age and significance of all the buildings, outbuildings and additions thereto. Such a report should be send to SAHRA for final comments.
? The Department of Correctional Service (and the Department of Public Works) will need to give the necessary clearance to a consultant to study plans in their possession in order to be able to determine what the original plans for the buildings was, what was added later as well as determining the exact age of all these components. The consultant should be someone with experience in the restoration and maintenance of historical military buildings.
? The information from the phase II report should be used as guidelines to plan the necessary expansion to the facility and renovations to the house. This includes the erection of new buildings on the premises as these may have a negative visual impact on the original jail building. The planning for this should be done by an architect with experience in working with historical buildings.
? The planned development can not proceed at present. The phase II report will however determine if and when it may proceed.

The reports deals with the findings after a survey have been conducted in the National Archives Repository in Pretoria. Old plans provided by Maxim were also studied. Unfortunately the Department of Public Works could not provide any plans and therefore it was agreed that the study should be completed without this.

The final conclusion is none of the buildings may be demolished or even partially demolished. The original jail building dates to 1910 and the house (including the outside toilet) is probably contemporary with this.

Other recommendations include that:
? No addition may be made to the front fa?ade of the main jail building.
? Additions in the place of the corrugated iron structures (to the south) to be removed should be done in such a way that it compliments the original stone building.
? The corrugated iron sheeting fixed to the northern side of the main building may not be removed as this is an integral part of the original fabric.
? The new building to be build to the back of the main building may proceed. This will not have a negative impact on the historical structure, but care should be taken that it is done sympathetically to the main jail building.
? The facades of the house may not be changed. The exception to this would be the rooms that were added later, but these were done sympathetically to the original and therefore should rather be left as it is.
? The interior of the house may be changed to serve the purpose of offices. However, this should also be done sympathetically to the existing original fabric. Similar material should be used and no unnecessary changed to windows, ceilings, doors, floors and other features should be allowed.
? Any changes to any of the mentioned structures should be approved by the provincial heritage resources agency for the Northwest Province (PHRA). The developer should apply to them for a permit for any structural and interior changes needed.
? The information from this phase II report should be used as guide to plan the necessary expansion to the facility and renovations to the house.
? After implementation of the indicated recommendations, including acquiring a permit from SAHRA (the Northwest PHRA) the planned development may proceed.
? It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts are always a distinct possibility. Care should therefore be taken when development work commences that if any of these are accidentally discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) & A.J. Pelser