Reimagining the role of a city street for pedestrians
Olitzki began conceptualising the re-imagining of Main Street in the 1990s. He negotiated the terms of a private lease with the Johannesburg City Council and secured their support, as well as the support of the private property owners. This was finally project managed into existence by the mining houses and other property owners within the Mall. This street has become an orderly, safe and attractive space of eight city blocks. The pavements were widened, trees and flower beds were planted, and the road was recreated as a pleasantly curvy line. Story-boards explaining the early mining history of Johannesburg now enliven the street, while a stamp battery, mining headgear and coco pans are a reminder of the city’s gold-mining history. It all adds up to an interesting, safe and attractive place to stroll through.