Buildings In Nairobi That Were Built By Freemasons

Buildings In Nairobi That Were Built By Freemasons
Buildings In Nairobi That Were Built By Freemasons Image/Courtesy

By Isaac Blessings

Some of the most ancient and iconic buildings in Kenya, especially Nairobi, were constructed by Freemasons who were the lead architects in the 19th century. The plan of building Nairobi was orchestrated in the early 1920s by the then government architect J.A Hoogterp who later relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.

After Hoogterp leaving, Sir Herbert Baker, who was a freemason, took control of several projects borrowing the city’s plan from Washington DC, Cape Town and Paris. Baker then oversaw the construction of major and iconic buildings in Nairobi. 

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In this interesting read, WoK brings you the list of buildings in Kenya that were constructed by the Freemasons.

Kenya National Archives

Located in the heart of Nairobi city, Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) was designed and built by Cobb and Archer. The building was first built for Grindlays Bank (now National Bank of India) in 1931. The building was acquired in 1965 by the government of Kenya through a substantive act of parliament and placed under the office of the Vice President and State Department for Heritage and Culture. Currently, the building stores over 40,000 volumes of archives and public records as well as documents of the Kenyan government from the colonial period to independence.

Also Read: Most Feared Buildings in Nairobi

Parliament Building

The Parliament building, which is located at the heart of Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), was designed and constructed in the late 1950s by Thonrnly Dyer and Amyas D Connell. The building, which has a Westminster architectural theme and an English-clock tower that is similar to London’s Big Ben building, houses Members of Parliament drawn from the over 250 constituencies of Kenya. The building was later expanded after the promulgation of the new constitution to include the Senate building which houses the 47 senators representing their various counties as well as nominated senators representing special interest groups.

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All Saints Cathedral

All Saints Cathedral is the main headquarters of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK). The foundation of the building was laid in 1917 and the construction process was undertaken in three phases which eventually saw the building being brought to completion in late 1962. The building was designed by AJ Davis – a famous stained-glass designer from Great Britain. The foreman who led its construction still remains anonymous but is reported by the Standard Media to be a freemason.

City Hall

Located in the heart of Nairobi city, City hall building was built and designed by Cobb and Archer. The building was completed and opened to the public in the early 1950s effectively becoming the tallest building in Nairobi at that time reaching up to 165 feet above the ground. It was later expanded in 1981 after the 13-storey City Hall Annex was constructed beside it. The building currently houses the headquarters of the County Government of Nairobi.

Also Read: Most Guarded Streets & Buildings in Kenya

The High Court of Kenya

The High Court of Kenya (now Supreme Court of Kenya) was designed and constructed by Cobb and Acher between the late 1950s and early 1960s. The building housed the High Court of Kenya for the longest time until when the country ushered in a new constitution that saw the establishment of the Supreme Court of Kenya. The building currently serves as the headquarters of the Judiciary as well as the office of the Chief Justice of Kenya.

Kenya Railways Headquarters

The Kenya Railways Headquarters was built and designed by architect Herbert Baker. The foundation of the building was established in 1924 and was completed in late 1927. The building has for the longest time served as the administration block of the East African Railway Corporation (EARC). However, in 2006 both the Kenyan and Ugandan governments mutually agreed to transfer its management to Rift Valley Railways (RVR). The building now houses both the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) and the remaining Kenyan Railway officers.

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