Jacob Beute, Muizenberg
I am overjoyed to hear that the Peppermint Palace will now finally be demolished.
I worked on the alteration and restoration of this most needy building, 11 years ago.
No matter how hard we tried to alter and reinforce the structure, the building proved almost too complex to repair. A chain is as strong as its weakest link and the “palace” had many weaknesses and structural uncertainties.
Much of the supporting brickwork was soft and the concrete columns and slabs were badly spalled due to rusty reinforcing etc. To add to its woes, there was the “insurmountable” problem of lack of garaging and parking and problematic main road access. These were needed for the many units then planned.
The developer had bought the building at an auction and had set to task, almost immediately, to repair and alter in the hopes of turning it over into grand living in the shortest time! The name changed from Peppermint Palace to “La Diamante”, a glory that was never to be.
It is now 11 years on and the condition of the building has further deteriorated. To my mind, the proposed demolition and rebuilding is now inevitable.
Any endeavour to patch up the existing structure is almost bound to fail.