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Montebello Design Centre, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Montebello Estate has an interesting history involving prominent characters of Cape Town’s past and activities on the Papenboom Estate of Newlands, including its division into two small estates, beer brewing, trout hatching, the Montebello homestead expropriation and the struggle for the preservation of some fine examples of period architecture.
The homestead and stables were built on a part of the Papenboom Estate granted to Rutger Mensing in 1764. Mensing was the first brewer in the area and made use of the abundant fresh spring water. The land passed to successive owners Rudolph Steenbok, Jurgen Hauk and Dirk Gysbert van Reenen who built the house Papenboom designed by Thibault which was destroyed by fire in 1836.
In 1888 a prominent Capetonian of Swedish descent, Anders Ohlsson, purchased the Newlands Brewery from Cloete. Ohlsson’s purchase included Montebello, Cloete’s palatial residence near the brewery and the associated stables and stores. Maximilian Michaelis purchased the estate from Ohlsson in 1919. His son, Cecil Michaelis, experimented with clays in the old stables to produce porcelain that gave rise to a flourishing ceramics industry. Following expropriation of the homestead for the South African College School (SACS), Cecil Michaelis contested further attempts to expropriate the land on which the stables and the adjoining wooded area stand.
The Design Centre is the result of a financial and property bequest by Cecil Michaelis. It is situated in the farm buildings of historical Montebello in Newlands. It has a colourful history, being the birthplace of Ohlsson’s Brewery and Continental China. It features:
o Jewellery Studios
o Metal Studios
o Ceramic Studios
o Textile Studios
o Organic deli
o Car Wash and
The centre is a non-profit company which promotes good local design and the use of crafts for job creation and includes:
o An adult education programme
o On-site craft and design studios
o On site exhibition area, shops and restaurant, and
o A job creation outreach programme
The Centre is at 21 Newlands Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town. Travel south on the M4 from the Cape Town CBD and turn left into Newlands Avenue. Montebello is on the right adjacent to SACS school.
3114/3%Last update: 2014-03-09 14:42
Author: Alan McIver
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