To the best of our knowledge the house was designed by Wilhelm Johannes
De Zwaan**, one of the architects from Holland that was brought in by Pres. Paul Kruger
The house is in the Victorian (Queen Anne) architectural style. Queen Anne style (1887-1910) has the following characteristics:
- Basically, a free form composition with Classical details
- No rules of proportion (house expands in every direction).
- Bay windows may jut out from load-bearing walls, sometimes out of a corner at an angle of 45 degrees
- An ornate porch along one or both sides with rows of stick-and-ball spindles
- Complicated roof planes, e.g. gables pointing in several directions
- Usually has a tower, a cylindrical or polygonal structure topped with a "candle snuffer"
- Vibrant colors were used to highlight decorative features
- Eclectic appropriation of ornamental elements from earlier periods, e.g. garlands, columns and carved wood
- May have triangular wooden gable end perforated with jigsaw ornaments
|The sketch above was done by Hannes Meiring*|
Mr Meiring describes the building as follows:
“A short distance from the Union Buildings, in Pine Street is a house at present known as Melvin Residence – very different indeed from the Union Buildings. The house reminds one of the ostrich palaces of Oudtshoorn and is a rather amusing conglomeration of styles that were popular at the beginning of the century: decorative wooden railings around the stoep, a near classical gable and ornamental plaster work above the bay window, tall chimneys and a stairway that widens towards the bottom and is decorated with pot plants. Today genuine Victorian houses such as Melvin Residence are once again appreciated.”
*Meiring, Hannes. Pretoria 125: Human & Rousseau Publishers (Pty) Ltd, 1980. ISBN 0 7981 1087 2