This area is part of the original farm known as Rosemill Orchards owned by a Mr Lorenco. Plots in the area were first sold by auctioneer Richard Currie in 1896. In 1919 the City Council renamed the streets in honour of British Admirals of World War I. Rosebank and Dunkeld were two of the first suburbs to have trolley-bus transport.
One of the first developers of Rosebank was Cecil Behrmann. In 1945 he purchased the south-western corner of Oxford Road and Tyrwhitt Avenue on behalf of a syndicate. Construction work began in 1950 and the property was enlarged several times. In due course, he sold out his interests but the site attracted many other developers and Rosebank became one of the prime shopping areas of Johannesburg.
In 1972 Swedish architect Max Kirchhoffer designed a regional retail office and high density residential area bordered by Oxford Road, Jellicoe Avenue, Jan Smuts Avenue and Biermann Avenue. In 1976 the development of a R15 million shopping centre situated on Oxford Road was initiated - Rosebank Mall, the Firs and Mutual Square became fashionable shopping areas. Office blocks including Standard Bank and Johnnic Properties were then constructed by developers.
A Brief on the Street Names in the Rosebank Management District (RMD)
The original name was given to the part of this road in Parktown by Mrs O.E. Redwood, and the intention was to recall the famous British university.
Formerly 2nd Avenue, believed to be after Commodore Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt of World War 1 fame, although no reason is given to the Council. The town engineer however wrote to the township owners on 3 November 1919 and stated that Tyrwhitt was in the Zeebrugge battle.
Presumably named after the Lancashire town of Bolton.
In October 1919, Council decided to alter 4th Avenue to Cradock Avenue, presumably in honour of Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock (1862-1914) who went down with all his crew on 1 November 1914. The derivation is continued by the town engineer in a letter to the township owners dated 3 November 1919, where it is stated he was Admiral of Good Hope Monmouth, which sank off the Chilean Coast.
Presumably named after the city in Somerset, England. This part in Rosebank was originally 5th Avenue and only altered on 27 October 1919.
Presumably named after Baker Street when this area was developed in 1963. It is a popular and not an official name.
Miss Baker is mentioned as governess to H.B Marshall’s children. She took the children to Natal during the Jameson Raid period and to Europe a little later. Mrs Nellie Ivory, H.B Marshall’s daughter, in a letter dated 14 May 1961 stated that the governess was Mabel Hope Baker and that the family had a high regard for her. The assumption is therefore that H.B Marshall named the street in Melrose in her honour. The Rosebank street is merely an extension, as is evident from the decision of the Works Committee on 10 October 1919.
Formerly 3rd Avenue, Admiral Jellicoe was First Sea Lord during World War I, and was commemorated by this name although no reason was given in the Council Minutes. In writing to the township owners on 3 November 1919, the town engineer mentioned that Jellicoe was Admiral of the Grand Fleet. He was born on 5 December 1859 at Southampton, served in the Royal Navy from 1872 to 1924. He died on 20 November 1935.
(The above information is courtesy of the Rosebank Library)