This unique group of 18th century buildings stands in Strand Street, across the road from the Koopmans De Wet House, and was originally designed as a single architectural entity to meet the needs of the Lutheran Church in Cape Town. When the Dutch first settled at the Cape in 1652, the VoC limited the colonist's freedom of worship to the Dutch Reformed faith. However, following a number of petitions from German, Danish and Scandinavian officials at the Cape, in 1779 the Company relented and decided to give Lutherans permission to erect their own church. For many years before this, Lutheran worship had been held in a hall, erected by a wealthy merchant, Martin Melck, and although the building was officially described as a "warehouse", administrators of the colony were not unaware of these activities, and chose to turn a blind eye to them. In 1776 Melck transferred ownership of the hall to the congregation, and after 1779 a number of improvements were made to the building. This was finished in about 1792, much of the work having been undertaken by Anton Anreith, who designed the front elevation and contributed a number of fine wood carvings to the interior decoration. By 1818 the structure had fallen into disrepair and had to be extensively rebuilt. Unfortunately much of Anreith's design was lost in the process. The new building was inaugurated on 20 December 1820 at which time a new spire was added. Few changes have been made to the building since that time. When Martin Melck originally built his warehouse, he also made allowance for the eventual provision of a parsonage and acquired land to the east of the church for this purpose. Building commenced on a parsonage in 1781, the work being attributed to Thibault and Anreith. Except for minor renovations, the house has remained almost unchanged. In 1894 it was let by the church for use as a dwelling, and became known as Bloemfontein House, and after it was restored in 1932, it was renamed Martin Melck House. The sexton's house was probably built at the same time as the parsonage, between 1779 and 1783. Martin Melck House, at 96 Strand Street, was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on3 July 1936., and the rest of the complex was proclaimed on 29 April 1948.
-33° 55' 13.6399", 18° 25' 12.2901"