The Old Presidency in Bloemfontein

The Old Presidency, or Residency as it is also known, is one of the historic buildings in Bloemfontein. It was designed by Lennox Canning & Goad, a Johannesburg firm of architects who won the competition to design the building, and built in 1885-86 on the site of Major Henry D Warden’s original house. (The same firm designed the Raadsaal.)

The Old Presidency, or Residency, Bloemfontein
The Old Presidency, aka Residency, Bloemfontein

The Old Presidency, or Residency, Bloemfontein
The Old Presidency, aka Residency, Bloemfontein

The Old Presidency, or Residency, Bloemfontein

Old Presidency, ground floor plan (http://roodtarchitects.co.za/page/old-presidency)
Old Presidency, ground floor plan (http://roodtarchitects.co.za/page/old-presidency)

The Presidency was home to three Presidents of the Republic of the Orange Free State: President Brand 1861-88), President Reitz (1888-95), and President Steyn (1895-1900); Lord Roberts lived in the house when the British occupied Bloemfontein in 1900; and then from 1901-1910 it was the Residence of the Governor of the Orange River Colony.

The building is furnished somewhat sparsely, but appropriately for the late Victorian period.

The living room on the ground floor of the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
The living room on the ground floor of the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
The entrance hall of the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
The entrance hall of the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
The main stairs, made of yellowwood, the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
The main stairs, made of yellowwood, the Old Presidency, Bloemfontein
One of the first floor bedrooms, the Old Presidency
One of the first floor bedrooms, the Old Presidency

The Visitor Information Centre for Bloemfontein is in the Stables of the Old Presidency – an unprepossessing entrance – but persevere!

The entrance to the Visitor Information Centre, & the stables of the Presidency
The entrance to the Visitor Information Centre, & the stables of the Presidency

You may be interested in
The Old Presidency – a haunted building?
The Old Presidency – interior photographs

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