100-Year-Old House That Was Once Nairobi's Tallest Building
Hitting the millennium is not an easy fit for both living and non-living things which is why it is paramount we cherish the few that we have.
This includes the resilient and astounding national monument that is the Kipande House located opposite Teleposta Towers at the heart of Nairobi's Central Business District.
The iconic building, whose construction was completed in 1913, was designed by a Pakistani national, Gurdit Singh Naye, after arriving in the country.
The building was used for numerous functions. It was where all Kenyans were expected to go for registration and ultimate issuance of the Identification Card (also known in Swahili as Kipande) that influenced the building's choice of name.
It also served as a warehouse on two occasions, one by the Indian manual labourers who constructed the Kenya-Uganda Railway.
In the second instance, the colonial government at the time leased the building to be used during World War 1 and its management waived rent for the period the war lasted.
Kipande House, a one-storied building, also towered the city's skyline for a solid 22 years as it was the tallest at the time until the arrival of City Hall building in 1935.
It has stood the test of time so much that it got gazetted as a national monument.
However, it was acquired by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in 1976 in a rare transaction that allowed a company to acquire a building with historical value in Kenya.
The building is among the oldest in the city alongside Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) which was constructed in 1970s and Hilton Hotel (1969) among others.
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