Port Elizabeth's Famous Feather Market Centre
The Feather Market has its origins in the ostrich feather boom in the 1800's. South African ostrich farmers became wealthy ,almost overnight ,as demand driven by European consumers pushed up feather prices. Export through Port Elizabeth's harbour became important enough that the city fathers decided in the 1870's that it justified the building of a dedicated feather market in the city centre. The Feather Market Hall was completed in January 1885. The official opening of the buildings, conducted by Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, took place almost a year later on 10 December 1885. The opening of the South African Exhibition, which lasted a full month and was visited by approx. 60 000 people, marked the occasion.
The renovated Feather Market Centre boasts a beautifully appointed multi-purpose hall designed to serve as a concert hall, conference centre, city hall or as a venue for other prominent functions. The Hall features a majestic double volume foyer, with upper and lower level houses, exquisite chandeliers, sweeping staircase and luxurious decor. The main auditorium can seat 1 187 people and, with seats removed, is ideal for hosting large banquets for up to 550 guests. The Selley Hall, the original feather market, has been refurbished to accommodate functions such as exhibitions, product launches and industrial theatre.
Port Elizabeth's Feather Market Centre is housed in the historic Feather Market building and is situated next to the equally historic city hall, library and post office buildings. The building is an important element of the Market Square area and will also be part of a planned future harbour development.
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