The Victorian/Edwardian styled mansion named “Eikenlaan (Oak Avenue)” was designed by JB Nicholson in 1904 for James Goch and completed in 1905.
James Goch moved to Johannesburg in 1888 and was the first photographer in Southern Africa to use the flash (magnesium flare), but made his fortune from speculating in land. James was the the better known brother of George Goch who held the position Mayor of Johannesburg from 1904-1905 and the title of Financier and Director of Village Main Reef GM.
By 1930 the mansion was sold for £4500 and the ‘Ennsimore Residential Hotel’ was established. During the 1960’s an ‘Overseas Visitors Club’ was established and survived whilst the surrounding homes were being demolished for development.
The then owners applied for new rights but the City Council brought the property in 1978 with the intention of constructing a motorway. It was then that the management of ‘Mike’s Kitchen’ and the ‘Parktown Westcliff Heritage Trust’ embarked on a campaign to save this landmark from development. In a matter of weeks 12000 signatures were collected for a petition and with the public and media support this mansion was saved from demolition.
Today it remains one of only two Randlord Mansions, which can be viewed freely by the public and still houses the original stained glass windows, high pressed ceilings and balustrade.