A Century of events

Where and how Barrow started.



1897 - John Barrow builders is established in Bertrams

As the discovery of the electron and the development of the diesel engine usher in a new era,John Barrow Builders is established in Bertrarns,Johannesburg.


First buildings at St John's College, Houghton.
St Johns College

Family home, Bleak House, built in Dunkeld.

The Barrow home, the very antithesis of bleakness, was wryly, but humourously, named by Albert Barrow after a harrowing first night, when "there were no lights, the wind howled outside, and to cap it all, a celluloid holder in the bathroom caught alight, filling the house with smoke and the younger members of the family with alarm.

Albert Barrow elected President of the Witwatersrand Master Builders Association.

Bleak House


Construction begins on the Central Block at the University of the Witwatersrand.

University of the Witwatersrand


In the midst of the Great De­pression, Barrow builds the new library at the University of the Witwatersrand in record time. In the same year, Albert Barrow was elected President of the Building Industries Federation of South Africa (BIFSA).


Family business registered as a company, known as John Barrow (Pty) Limited.



John Barrow II becomes President of the Witwatersrand Master Builders Association, in his father's footsteps, and is instrumental in resolving the costly builders' strike.


As South Africa becomes a Republic and Beatle mania takes hold ... Barrow goes about its business, constructing new buildings for St John's College, Medical Research and University of the Witwatersrand. The company also welcomes the fourth generation of Barrows,John III, David and Douglas.

Apart from projects for corporate headquarters and institutions, Barrow was responsible for erecting many apartment blocks during the decade, including Glen­dower Heights and Majestic Mansions, Parktown.


The third Barrow, John III, becomes President of the Master Builders Association.


Barrow diversifies into property development -

a bold step in the light of many commercial failures by other property developers during this decade.


John Barrow III is appointed as President of BIFSA.

Some major building contracts included the Blue Circle Head Office in Rosebank, Head Office for Deloitte Haskins Sells in Sandton, Standard Bank and Trek Head Office both in Randburg.

Barrow Dewar formed to continue expansion in property development. The first project was the single-storey Woodmead office park, 12 000 square metres of offices in a landscaped garden environment, which won many awards, including the South African Property Owners Association award for best office park development.


John Barrow II dies and is remembered for his 66 years of service to the building industry and for his 25 years as chairman of Fedsure.

Barrow Projects formed to provide independent management services for the development of building and engineering projects, awarded R400 million ABSA contract in its first year.



Barrow celebrates 100 years of building an industry.

and the future . . . as the fourth Barrow, John Robert becomes President of the Gauteng Master Builders Association.

The group is family-owned and managed with the 5th generation currently at the helm

Barrow Properties is the property development and investment arm of the Barrow Group. Barrow Properties focuses primarily on residential and commercial development in Johannesburg. Barrow Properties is actively involved in the management of the commercial properties and prides itself in the service that it provides to its tenants.

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