PROPERTY LISTINGS – BY LOCATION – KILLARNEY
The suburb of Killarney was originally part of the vast Braamfontein farm. In 1899, a small section was purchased by William Cooke, an Irishman, who named the farm after the town of Killarney in Ireland – apparently it was his wife’s home town. In 1905 Isadore William Schlesinger, an American entrepreneur, bought Cooke’s Farm. The township of Killarney was proclaimed in 1906.
In 1911 Schlesinger invited the Transvaal Automobile Club to relocate to his property in Killarney. As far as we can tell the TAC was thus the first establishment to become resident in Killarney after the township was proclaimed. They used the original Cooke Farmhouse as their clubhouse for many decades, and progressively built other facilities. During World War II they invited the St John’s Ambulance organisation to build a convalescent hospital on the club grounds for the use of officers wounded in the war, and after the war the hospital buildings were used as accommodation by club members for a while. Unfortunatelynothing remains now of any of the original structures. The club relocated in the early 1970’s so that the government could build the M1 motorway through their land, and is today known as the Killarney Country Club. Much of the property and it’s various facilities were covered by the motorway construction, and the remaining pieces of land were later redeveloped. A commemorative plaque today stands at the top of 2nd Avenue, at the site of their original entrance gate.
Schlesinger invested heavily in the film industry, and between 1914 and 1916 he built a film studio in Killarney, on the land where the Killarney Mall now stands. In the early 1920’s Schlesinger built the mansion Whitehall adjacent to his studios – this grand building contained both his offices and his personal residence.
Riviera Mansions in Main Road was built in 1929, and Daventry Court, Mentone Court, Gleneagles, Earls Court, Killarney Court and Sunningdale were all built before 1939. These buildings established the reputation of Killarney-Riviera as a desirable address, and many more buildings were constructed here in the decades that followed. Splice in Riviera is the most recent, being only a few years old.