If you have lived in Durban for any length of time you will know that Musgrave Road is in one of its oldest residential neighbourhoods. It is home to some of the largest and most spectacular homes you’ll find in the city, ranging in style from old colonial to art deco to post modern, plus everything in between. It is an eclectic mix of history and a definite marker for how the city has grown up since its founding in the 1800’s. Musgrave road has seen everything Durban has been up to over the years as it looks out Eastwards over the city.

I must have driven past this particular building on Musgrave Road a million times and it has always fascinated me. Today I finally got to photograph inside one of the apartments of what can only be described as a quintessential “Grand Old Dame” of Musgrave residences. According to the owner of the 2 bedroomed apartment I photographed, Apsley Court is around 90 years old, which would place it as having been constructed just prior to WW2. Walking inside is like entering a time capsule that transports you right back to that period of history. The old wooden stair bannisters, the moulded hand rails and black & white checkered tiles on the floor are all typical of the period. I can imagine men wearing spats and bashers, meeting ladies with parasols and long gloves coming and going from this old world building, conversing with alacrity about what the weather is doing as they go off to the races or the theatre. Imagine the stories each of these old homes could tell of all their previous residents? From leaving for war to New Years parties, the arrival of air travel, democracy.

The apartment itself is immaculately kept and beautifully decorated, obviously well cared for by its owners. Bourne gleamed wooden floors and stained glass windows carry the remnants of the old world construction elegantly throughout the apartment, where modern finishes like granite counter tops and subway tiles in the kitchen and bathroom blend seamlessly with this older charm.

While I am now fully accustomed to life in the suburbs and couldn’t imagine living in the city again, this is certainly the kind of place that would have enticed me as a young buyer. If you are looking for something like this here is the official listing for sale by the owner.