About Old Harbour Board Building

Just down the hill from Donkin Reserve, the magnificent three-storey Old Harbour Board Building lies on Fleming Street in the Port Elizabeth city centre. It lies in amongst equally impressive buildings like the Railway Station and City Hall, just west of Settlers Highway flyover.

Did you know? The Harbour Board Building was painstakingly restored in 1990 by Portnet and the architect John Rushmere, which explains its mint condition today. In 1968 it was declared a national monument.

It's described as one of the best examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the country, and its impressive stonework exterior, extravagant doorway, and richly ornamented interior make it one of the Donkin Heritage Trail's most iconic buildings.

Interestingly, the building is still known to locals as the 'white building'. It spent many years painted white, in direct contrast with the now demolished red warehouse opposite it, which was known as the 'red building'.

Built in 1904 and designed by the architectural firm Jones and McWilliams it housed the harbour administration of the South African Railways and Harbours for 70 years, hence its name. Today it stands unoccupied.

Port Elizabeth's city centre dates back to the arrival of the British settlers in 1820 and has a wealth of old buildings as a consequence, many of them reminiscent of your average English market town.

One can walk the self-guided Donkin Heritage Trail, which starts at the Main Library on Market Square, with the help of a booklet from the tourism office at the Donkin Reserve.

Need to Know

WhereOld Harbour Board Building, Fleming Street, Central, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Port Elizabeth Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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