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The south and northbound M1 freeway overpass dissects Newtown and adjacent Fordsburg in the west, while the railway lines to the north mark the border between Newtown and Braamfontein.
In the southern boundary (along with Market Street) the Johannesburg Central Police Station visually forms the border between Newtown and the historic Ferreira’s Town in the south.
Situated west of Diagonal Street and beyond the borders of the original mining town, this racially diverse area incorporated parts of Brickfields, Aaron’s Yard and the Indian (or ‘Coolie’) location.
In 1904 this ‘new town’ was redesigned as a commercial and industrial area to maximise the nearby goods-yards.
The precinct can be divided into the Market Precinct (located north of the square) which is dominated by the 1913 Market Building - home to the Market Theatre and Museum Africa.
From the north-eastern to the north-western quadrants of Newtown, Carr Street connects the Brickfields and Kazerne with the Milling Precinct, home to the old Premier Milling complex on Quinn Street.
In the plans for Newtown the strict grid pattern of the CBD has been adopted.The destruction of Brickfields and subsequent development of Newtown was an attempt by the post-South African War administration of Lord Milner to refashion Johannesburg along ‘modern’ lines.