Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

Johannesburg Heritage Foundation is an advocacy organisation is led by activist Flo Bird, with guns blazing in the direction of those who threaten the city’s heritage. For the past three decades the foundation has sought to protect Joburg’s historical buildings from poor bureaucratic decisions and rapacious developers. It is something of an ongoing battle. As well as lobbying for the protection of historical buildings, the foundation also organises for important local landmarks to receive blue plaques detailing their unique history and there are now hundreds of buildings, monuments and other landmarks who carry the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation blue plaque.

Throughout the year the foundation offers a diverse range of walking and bus tours led by local heritage specialists that focus on the city’s history and architecture, as well as visits to privately-owned historic homes that members of the public might ordinarily never get to see.

To support the important work which the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation carries out you can also subscribe annually to become a member of the foundation. Members get preferential rates on all heritage tours (usually about half the price as for non-members) and get invitations to exclusive member events such as lectures.

As a member you can also join in, for a nominal fee of R40 (non-members pay R80), the foundation's excellent series of regular virtual tours and talks online. Hosted on Zoom and led by local historians and heritage experts, the in-depth history talks and virtual tours cover a variety of themes ranging from architecture and art history to early city planning, political activism and struggle history.

Membership of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation costs R435 per year and you can apply and pay to join online. Find all the details on how to become a member today here. Funds from annual memberships are used by the foundation to continue its important advocacy, research and heritage preservation work.

Johannesburg Heritage Foundation virtual tours

Sat Jul 11 at 14:15 Art Deco and Streamlined Moderne Architecture of Our City

Architects Claire J Eisenstein and Brian McKechnie present this wonderful online talk that traces the history of Art Deco and Moderne architecture in Johannesburg, exploring marvellous buildings such as London House, Manners Mansion and the iconic Antsey's.

Sun 26 at 14:00 A Galaxy of Architects - A virtual tour through Westpark's Jewish cemetery  

Historian Flo Bird and architect Brian McKechnie present this virtual tour of the historic Westpark Jewish cemetery using the gravestones of some of Joburg's most celebrated architects as a starting point for examing Joburg's iconic mid-Century architecture and the early building plans that these architects had for the city.

Prior booking for Joburg Heritage's virtual tours is essential as space is limited. Book your place on this virtual tour by emailing


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Brett McDougall
The JHF Heritage Weekend takes place on the 20th and 21st of September. The Foundation will be running 17 tours in and around the city, all starting from Holy Family College, Parktown. All tours cost a ridiculously low R50.
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