The double-storied main building in Dutch Colonial style housed a number of laboratories, each fitted out for a specific line of research such as bacteriology, zoology, chemistry, pathology etc. Hot and cold water, gas, steam and electric light were laid on throughout the building and fume cupboards, incubators, vacuum pumps and small centrifuges provided where required. To support the laboratories provision was made for sterilizing rooms with autoclaves, a still room for the production of distilled water, a centrifugal room, a microphotographic room and several offices. Animal facilities included an operating theatre, a small animal room and a post mortem hall in the main building as well as stables in separate adjoining buildings. The second floor consisted mainly of a student’s laboratory and lecture room, even though there were no approved plans for the training of veterinary students at the time. The Faculty of Veterinary Science, hosted by the Institute, was in fact only launched in 1920.
The building was completed in 1908 and ready for occupation on the 8th of October of that year. A grand opening was planned for January 1909, accompanied by a Pan-African Conference. Unfortunately torrential rain a few days before the planned date damaged access roads to such an extent that it was impossible to reach the site and the function had to be cancelled. The conference was relocated to the government building in Pretoria. The “Grand Palace” was therefore never officially inaugurated! (Source: OVI Centenary Celebrations, 7-9 October 2008)
The road leading to the circle (where Theilers' statue now stands) was the old main entrance road. The road used to be lined with jacaranda trees which are either very small or haven't yet been planted when the photos were taken.
Black/white photos. Photo 1: Original document size: (w)7 x (h)4.53 cm. Original scanned size: 262 kb JPEG, 600 dpi. Final web-ready size: 42.28 kb. Estimate download time: 16 sec. @ 28.8 kbps. Photo 2: Original document size: (w)7 x (h)4.75 cm. Original scanned size: 194 kb JPEG, 600 dpi. Final web-ready size: 27.83 kb. Estimate download time: 11 sec. @ 28.8 kbps. Photo 3: Original document size: (w)7 x (h)4.66 cm. Original scanned size: 228 kb JPEG, 600 dpi. Final web-ready size: 27.18 kb. Estimate download time: 11 sec. @ 28.8 kbps. Original TIFF files housed at the Dept. Veterinary Tropical Diseases, University of Pretoria. Metadata assigned by Prof. R.C. Tustin, Professor Emeritus: DVTD. His academic and professional experience includes: veterinarian for 54 years,
senior lecturer at UP for 7 years, head of Department at UP for 17 years and Veterinary Council for 3 years.