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Seaview

A famous tidal pool once graced the shoreline outside of Port Elizabeth. Built in 1938, as part of the Seaview hotel, it featured an art deco building designed by local architecht WJ McWilliams, it had the largest tidal pool in the country. Unfortunately the hotel was demolished in 2007. A detailed article about the hotel is given by Dean McCleland, and a blog about the ruined hotel before being demolished can be found here. An enrty in the South African architecht arrchive website had the folowing article:


The bath itself is the largest tidal bath in this country, being even greater in size than the Sea Point one. The pavilion shown in the sketch is probably the first stage only of what will eventually be a series of similar terraces containing dressing-boxes, etc. The unit shown has accommodation for 160 persons of both sexes, with lavatories, stores and attendants' rooms.

The whole structure is of reinforced concrete left rough from the shuttering and bagged; with a final coat of light tan distemper.

The woodwork — such as doors, etc. — is to be painted in bright clean colours, while the undersides of the concrete umbrella-shelters are to be tiled with coloured glazed tiles.

The retaining wall is about 3 ft. (915 mm) thick at the base, as, during high tides, the waves break against it. The top is hollow — allowing plants to be grown along the parapet.

Future extension will consist of another "deck" of undressing boxes, forming yet another terrace behind the existing building.

The paving of the terraces and surround to the bath is in alternate blue and cream concrete slabs; the whole area of the bottom of the bath also being similarly treated.

The wall forming the sea end of the bath is arranged with funnel-shaped apertures facing the waves, and inclined tubes leading up through the wall, making a series of blowholes. Each wave that breaks against the wall sends a jet of water twenty feet into the air over the bath!



 

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