Hillbrow Tower

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Telkom Joburg Tower
Hillbrow Tower
Hillbrow Tower.jpg
Hillbrow Tower (right) with the Ponte Apartment building and the skyline of Hillbrow.
General information
Status Complete
Type Radio tower
Location Hillbrow, Johannesburg,  South Africa
Coordinates 26°11′13″S 28°2′57″E / 26.18694°S 28.04917°E / -26.18694; 28.04917Coordinates: 26°11′13″S 28°2′57″E / 26.18694°S 28.04917°E / -26.18694; 28.04917
Construction started 1968[1]
Completed 1971[1]
Opening 1971[1]
Cost $10,000,000
Owner Telkom (South Africa)[2]
Height
Antenna spire 269 m (883 ft)
Top floor 131 m (430 ft)
References
[1][2][3][4]

The Hillbrow Tower is a tall tower located in the suburb of Hillbrow in Johannesburg, South Africa. At 269 m (883 ft), it has been the tallest structure and tower in Africa for 40 years, and it was also the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere until 1978, when surpassed by the 270m Mount Isa Chimney in Queensland, Australia. Construction of the tower began in June 1968 and was completed three years later, in April 1971. Construction cost 2 million Rand[1] (at the time, US$2.8 million). The tower was initially known as the JG Strijdom Tower, after JG Strijdom, South African Prime Minister from 1954 to 1958. On 31 May 2005 it was renamed the Telkom Jo'burg Tower.[3]

The tower was constructed for what became Telkom,[4] South Africa's government run and the country's largest telecommunications company. As the general height of buildings rose in the central business district, it became necessary that the height of the new telephone tower stayed above the height of the buildings surrounding it.[1][2]

Tourist attraction[edit]

A slender concrete tower topped by a several habitable floors, telecommunications dishes and several tall antennas; viewed in the warm evening light before sunset.
The Hillbrow Tower from a distance. 
A concrete tower, the bottom obscured by other buildings, viewed from below. A large football shaped structure has been fitted to the tower just below the habitable section.
The Hillbrow Tower decorated for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The Hillbrow Tower has been closed to visitors since 1981, primarily due to security reasons. Before the closure, the Hillbrow tower was one of the largest tourist draws in Johannesburg. The public was able to enter six public floors at the top of the tower, which stood at 131 metres. One of the floors housed a popular revolving restaurant named Heinrich's Restaurant, as well as another non-rotating restaurant known as the Grill Room.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a huge football was fitted to the tower to celebrate the event. In 2013, television programme Carte Blanche (TV series) broadcast from what used to be the revolving restaurant.

The Hillbrow tower is one of two iconic towers that are often used to identify the Johannesburg skyline. The second tower, the Sentech Tower, is used for television and radio transmissions.[1][2][3][4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Davie, Lucille (6 January 2004). "Hillbrow Tower – symbol of Joburg". Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Telkom lights up Jozi's night skyline". Telkom. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hillbrow Tower renamed". City of Johannesburg. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c James Barber, Angela Fung, Sandeep Toshniwal, Becky Voorheis, and Campbell R. Harvey, Telkom, South Africa", Winter (1999). Retrieved 2011/03/17.

External links[edit]

Media related to Radio towers in Johannesburg at Wikimedia Commons