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Nairobi’s Oldest Buildings Still Standing To Date

Nairobi tells the Kenyan history through architectural  buildings that have stood the test of time.

While skyscrapers easily catch people’s attention while walking through the streets of Nairobi, it might sound unbelievable to note that a one story building was once Nairobi’s tallest building.

In this article, WoK looks at some of Nairobi’s oldest buildings.

City Hall

City Hall was built and completed in 1934, before its official opening during the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in May 1935.

Until the opening of the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC), City Hall provided all the necessary facilities for conferences in Nairobi.

City Hall currently hosts main offices of the Nairobi City County.

Kenya National Archives

The Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) is situated in Nairobi CBD along Moi Avenue.

The building was established in 1965 by an Act of the Parliament of Kenya.

It holds 40,000 volumes of public records and archives including the Murumbi Gallery which contains African artifacts that were collected in the 19th century.

Kipande House

The historic Kipande House built in 1913 is located at the corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Loita Street in Nairobi’s Central Business District.

The building was used for issuing identity cards only to Africans between 1912 and 1917 under the leadership of Henry Belfield who was Kenya’s governor.

The building was initially initially called Nayer building, named after famous Indian businessman Gurdit Singh Nayer, and it was Nairobi’s tallest building until 1935.

‘Kipande’ is a Swahili word that means ‘identification card’.

Nairobi Post Office

The Nairobi Post Office was the first General Post Office (GPO) in Nairobi, and it was opened in 1906 along Kenyatta Avenue.

Today, the building hosts key government offices such as the famous GPO Huduma Center.

All Saints Cathedral

The construction of All Saints’ Cathedral, Nairobi began in 1917 following a public meeting to fundraise for construction of the church in 1914.

In 1924, the Church of All Saints became the Cathedral of the Highlands, with portions of the building completed in 1934 and 1952.

Interestingly, Africans were not allowed to worship in he church until 1963 when Kenya got independence and became a republic.

Macmillan Library

The Macmillan Library was built in the late 1920s and is still standing today along Banda Street.

Lady Lucy Macmillan commissioned its construction in memory of her late husband, Sir William Northrup McMillan (1872-1925).

Standard Chartered Bank building

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

The building is in a good state of repair and decoration and is one of the oldest historical landmarks in Nairobi.

It was gazetted as a national monument in 2001.