The KRRA reports some clarity on the future of the burned down Swan Lodge after heritage authorities announced that permission for the site to be demolished has been granted.
A recent survey conducted by the KRRA found that a majority (67.6%) of respondents were in favour of demolishing the building, which has become an eye sore in the heart of the village.
There were many interesting suggestions around memorialising the site and what a future development might look like. The KRRA has provided the owners of the building with the results of the survey and will keep residents apprised of what plans the owners have for the future.
There were 34 respondents to the KRRA survey, the key results of which are summarised below:
KRRA Question 1: Would you support a complete demolition of the entire building (excluding the wing that houses the vet and surf shop)?
No comment 8,8%
KRRA Question 2: How (if at all) would you like the 1923 Swan Lodge to be memorialised, or other ideas?
In favour of new development (23) 67,6%
In favour of restoring building (10) 29,4%
No opinion (1) 2,9%
Of those in favour of a new development, four respondents were against restoring the building. In terms of memorialising the building, the following suggestions were made:
1. The replacement building could retain the name “Swan Lodge” with the date 1923 memorialised on the front façade as is seen on numerous buildings in Simonstown.
2. An art gallery where our artists have a place to exhibit but partly exhibition of fotos, history etc of the old building would be nice. I
3. It would be nice to memorialise Swan Lodge in some way. (Photographs on display and/or part of the stonework revealed).
4. Restore it and use the 2 top floors for small businesses. Commercial use.
5. Small items of the building could for example be displayed or incorporated into a new building (a wall or window or so), and/or an information display (inside or outside the building) with the history of the building in the Apartheid and post-Apartheid Kommetjie context.
6. Restore the grand old lady and make it a landmark that it once was.
7. I believe that there should be more memorialization of history and heritage in Kommetjie (both the good and the bad) through more public art, photographs, museum space.
8. I think the building should be rebuilt.
9. I would like to see some of Swan Lodge retained if possible otherwise if not demolished and an upmarket backpacker built with natural juice bar / holistic health restaurant below.
10. Retain original look on the outside, retain name, but change inside as required.
11. It would be good if the historical features are maintained in any future building proposals.
12. Retain the footprint and design of the outside facade, in particular the porch entryway with high arches. The courtyard garden of the Lighthouse pub would be lovely to keep as well.