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Houghton, Sandton

houghton sandtonHoughton is a wealthy suburb of Sandton north-east of the city centre. Houghton has traditionally been informally divided into two areas: Upper Houghton, and Lower Houghton. Upper Houghton is the hilly southern portion located on a ridge, while northern Lower Houghton is flatter, and has a grid street pattern, with portions lying on both sides of the M1 freeway. Upper Houghton has been declared a National Heritage Area.

Houghton was developed as a residential area around the turn of the 20th Century, primarily by Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company. Historically a wealthy area it contains many large homes and properties as well as some blocks of flats, and office parks on streets close to the M1 (developed on the sites of former homes), and on Louis Botha Avenue. Houghton is architecturally varied. There are good examples of art deco buildings (particularly some of the flats), and many of the large houses in the 1930s were good examples of the Modern style inspired by the work of Le Corbusier.

The most famous resident of Houghton is Nelson Mandela. Helen Suzman represented Houghton a member of parliament from 1953 - 1989, and from 1961 to 1974 was the only member of parliament unequivocally opposed to apartheid.

Houghton is centrally located on the M1 freeway, with interchanges at Glenhove Road (M1 N & S), Eleventh Avenue (M1 S), Riviera Road (M1 N), 1st Avenue (M1 S) and Houghton Drive (M1 N).

The suburb, particularly Lower Houghton, is currently experiencing rapid redevelopment. Although many plots had already been subdivided in two, there is now a trend towards the development of cluster homes. This redevelopment is sanctioned by the City of Johannesburg's Regional Spatial Development Framework. The City sees many positive aspects to the redevelopment, but it is not uncontroversial and has resulted in the destruction of many traditional houses.

Houghton has two golf courses (Houghton and Killarney) and a large public park, The Wilds. There are three major schools: King Edward VII School (a public school for boys, also known as KES), St John's College (a private, Anglican school historically only for boys) and Houghton Primary School (a public school).



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