Did any of you Durbanites used to go to The Wheel shopping centre way back when? I did… I loved it. I always thought it was such an awesome, magical place. I think it was the decor that did it. There’s nowhere quite like it in Durban anymore. Looking back now, I’m not sure if it really was as cool as I thought it was, or if it was just my perception of it as a child…
I’m writing this post because last week I saw that it has been turned into a China Mall. I couldn’t believe it. First they removed the ferris wheel off the front of it, and now this?! I was horrified. I went to see it, and it made my heart ache. All the awesome history and feeling and richness of its interior has been removed so that is looks cheap and tacky. The shops are all scabby and sis and the level with the Chinese shops on is like a warehouse – no decor at all, just big white rooms.
It saddens me in ways I can’t express when places that are so rich and unique and beautiful get reduced to this sort of cheap, synthetic, fickle commercialness. The same can be said about many other areas in Durban. I wish people would honour the history of these places more.
The pics below are from the movie level on the top floor, which still looks mostly the way I remember it (apart from the manky “sports bar” in the corner).
I couldn’t even find any info on it online apart from the quote below… Maybe no one else really cares, maybe it’s just me that has so much feeling for this structure.
Either way. It is. So sad.