Just beyond ‘Stal Plein’, an early site of the Dutch East India Company’s stables and one of the City’s historic squares, lies the Lodge de Goede Hoop. It was built in 1804 and has been described as one of the most elegant Masonic buildings of all times. Not surprisingly the leading architect and craftsmen of the day, Thibault, Schutte, Anreith, who were all Freemasons, drew up the plans and executed the work. The gateway is recognised as a structure of great beauty and a fitting entrance to the Lodge.
The Banqueting Hall and Refectory to the right of the Lodge were constructed at a later date (1840) and have undergone various changes since then. At one stage they were used as the House of Assembly for the old Cape Parliament between 1854 and 1884. Then, after a major fire had destroyed a large part of the complex in 1892, the newly built structure housed a popular music hall and theatre until 1916, when the Government Printers moved in. Much of the interior of this old theatre is still as it was ... the stage and the fly loft, together with gas fittings, ceilings and other features, are still in good condition and a fine example of Victoriana.
The facade of the two-story front office has been much altered and eventually restored in the 1925 Cape Revival style with fluted pillasters, teak doors, carved fanlight and over door plaster molding. Higher up on the building is a plaster model of the Union Coat of Arms. This section of the building is now the State President’s Office.
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