County Council Rule that Governed Construction of Kipande House, Standard Chartered Building, McMillan Library and All Saints Cathedral on Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi

  • Ever wondered why most, if not all, of the buildings along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi, have that distinctive brick edifice?

    Well, in the early 1920s, the Nairobi Municipal Council began its cleanup of the road and pavement reserves of Delamere Avenue (formerly known as Sixth Avenue and now Kenyatta Avenue).

    The council did not allow temporary structures to be erected in what was known as the “brick, stone and concrete area” of town and as such, only buildings fitting this description could be built on that location.

    One such building that was built using bricks was the McMillan Library still standing today along Banda Street.

    [caption caption="McMillan Memorial Library"][/caption]

    The building is made of blue stone finished with a plaster requiring no paint on the outside walls.

    Directly opposite the General Post Office is Kipande House which was built in 1913. As its name suggests, Kipande House was originally a place where African people in the colonial time would obtain their identity cards which they were required to wear around their necks.

    [caption caption="Kipande House"][/caption]

    The building is presently occupied by Kenya Commercial Bank and it once boasted the tallest clock tower in town until City Hall clock tower was built in 1957.

    Like the McMillan Library, the exterior of Kipande House is made of blue stone.

    Another building further up the road from the Nairobi Post Office is the Cathedral of the Highlands better known today as the All Saints Cathedral.

    [caption caption="All Saints Cathedral"][/caption]

    The church building looks pretty much the same as it did in 1917 when the first brick was laid and is easily recognisable in dated photographs.

    However, the entire cathedral was completed in four phases spanning between 1917 and 1952 and the stained glass windows designed by AJ Davis, a famous stained-glass designer from Britain.

    Still along Kenyatta Avenue is the Standard Chartered Bank Building built in the 1930s for the Standard Bank of South Africa.

    [caption caption="Standard Chartered Building"][/caption]

    The Standard Bank opened its branches in Kenya in January 1911 with two branches: one at Treasury Square in Mombasa and the other on Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi.

    The building was recognised officially as a national monument in 2001.