Home of the iconic flower market and memorial of Archdeacon Thomas Lightfoot, Trafalgar Place, is undergoing a R1-million revamp, to be completed this September 2018.
The structural improvements and revitalisation of Trafalgar Place and the Archdeacon Thomas Lightfoot memorial statue are being carried out by the City of Cape Town with local heritage restoration contractor, Jan Corewijn.
Archdeacon Thomas Lightfoot (1831 – 1904) memorial was constructed in honour of his renowned work with the community, providing aid and alleviation to the poorer communities.
The Archdeacon served on multiple charitable associations in the city and founded St. Paul’s mission. Lightfoot is well known in the history of the Cape community after becoming Archdeacon of the Cape in 1885 and being one of the founders of the free soup kitchens and night shelters for the homeless in the city.
The three-metre-tall Veronese marble memorial, designed by Baker and Masey was unveiled in 1907. The Trafalgar Place flower market was a well-established market during this period and is one of the oldest markets in Cape Town, the history of the market and the memorial are intertwined.
The memorial statue is 109 years old and is one of the City’s most treasured icons and will undergo a facelift due to damage caused by Cape Town’s weather conditions.
In order to improve the longevity of the statue and make economically viable improvements, a fake bronze profile of the Archdeacons face will replace the top section lantern. This comes after the original bronze panels were stolen and partly vandalised.
An addition of a colourfully tiled mosaic will be added to the bare concrete seating that is created around the memorial. The vibrancy of the mosaic will create a link between the memorial statue and the local flower sellers.
Councillor Brett Herron, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development explains the theme of the restoration project and its connection to Heritage Month.
‘This project speaks to this year’s theme for Heritage Month: ‘Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our living heritage’ and is not only about making this space beautiful but it is also aimed at honouring the Archdeacon’s legacy of servanthood and preserving the cultural heritage,” he said.
Restoration of the memorial ensures that the cultural historic space of the Trafalgar Place is maintained.
Herron went on to state the cultural and economic importance of the area.
‘This square is rich in history and has a diverse value. On the one hand, it serves as a cultural space, while on the other it is an economic hub,” Herron said.