The first houses in the Belgravia district, on the southeast side of the city center, were built in 1873. The luxurious villas in this district, set in large gardens, were built by those fortunate citizens who had made their pile in the diamond fields. Belgravia is still Kimberley's favored residential district, with numerous handsome old buildings.
William Humphreys Art Gallery
The William Humphreys Art Gallery opened in 1952, has one of South Africa's most important art collections, with works by Dutch, Flemish, British and French masters as well as South African artists.
Harry Oppenheimer House
In the 13-story Harry Oppenheimer Building (1974), designed by the German architect H. Hentrich, all diamonds found in South Africa are graded. Since this can be done only in artificial light, the windows on the south side of the building are so constructed that no sunlight can get in.
Beautiful Queen's Park, originally laid out in 1874, was given its present name in 1953 on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.
Rudd House was once the home of the mining magnate H. P. Rudd, whose father was a friend and business partner of Cecil Rhodes. Since 1988 the house has been run by the McGregor Museum, and guided tours are available on application to the Museum.
Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens
Jan Smuts Boulevard runs round the Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens, in the center of which is the Diggers' Fountain (five life-size figures holding a diamond sieve).
Among other handsome old villas in Lodge Road is Oppenheimer House, built in 1906 for Ernest Oppenheimer, first mayor of Kimberley and later chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines. Here in 1908 was born his son Harry, who in 1957 succeeded his father as head of the diamond cartel which controlled some 80% of world production of diamonds.
Dunluce is an outstanding example of Late Victorian architecture. Originally built in 1897, it was acquired by John Orr in 1903 and remained in the hands of the much respected Orr family until 1975. Like Rudd House, it is attached to the McGregor Museum and can be seen on weekends by appointment.
Duggan Cronin Gallery
The Duggan Cronin Gallery contains a unique collection of photographs of the native peoples of South Africa, taken by A.M. Duggan Cronin between 1919 and 1939. Some of the traditional tribal rites depicted can never be photographed again. The gallery also displays African arts and crafts and a number of rock paintings (originals).
The McGregor Museum is housed in a former sanatorium established in 1897 on the initiative of Cecil Rhodes. During the four-month siege of Kimberley by the Boers in 1900 Rhodes lived in two rooms on the ground floor. The building is still furnished as it was around the turn of the century. The sanatorium later became a hotel and still later a school. Since 1971 it has housed the McGregor Museum, specializing in natural history and religious history. The museum also has a section on the history of the town, with particular emphasis on the days of the diamond rush.
Halfway House Hotel
The Halfway House Hotel (1880) was the first drive-in pub in South Africa and undoubtedly also the first in the world. In those days the customers rode in and drank in the saddle; nowadays they drive in and drink in the car.
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