Exploring Nairobi: A Journey Through Time – Part X

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Passing through Moi Avenue, we marveled at the Kenya National Archives, whose construction began in 1928, commissioned by the Bank of India, and was completed in 1931. Also located on the then Government Road is the Tom Mboya Statue, erected in 2011, in memory of the politician who was assassinated on July 5, 1969. Further ahead, we encountered the August 7th Memorial Park, which commemorates the 1998 terrorist bombings of the American embassy.

Turning towards City Hall Way, previously known as Sergeant Ellis Avenue after Sergeant George Ellis, the first European resident who arrived from Newington Butts, Surrey, England in 1896, we passed through the Nairobi City Court (Supreme Court), built in the 1930s. The statue of The Naked Boy of Justice adorns its premises, erected in honor of lawyer Alexander George Hamilton who died in 1937.

City Hall was first constructed in 1934, then upgraded in 1957 after Nairobi gained city status, and further refurbished with an annex in 1981.

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Image | Ernest Nyamasyo

Our gaze then ascended to the towering height of 105 meters (344 ft.) of the 28-story Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), unveiled in 1973 to mark 10 years of independence, together with the Jomo Kenyatta statue, which stands at 12 feet tall and was constructed in 1969.

Continuing down Parliament Road, formerly Connaught Road, named after the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, who were the first royal couple to visit Kenya in 1906, we appreciated the Mausoleum building. Designed by architect George Vamos, of Jewish descent, in 1978, it stands as a tribute to Jomo Kenyatta, who passed away while on active duty on August 22, 1978. The mausoleum, flanked by 22 flags, sees guards changing every two hours, with eternal flames burning nearby. Next to it stands Parliament House, constructed in 1954, which served as the home of the colonial legislature of the Kenya Colony, the Legislative Council of Kenya, until 1963, when the council was replaced by the National Assembly.

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Passing by the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi’s first stone building, whose history intertwines with the city itself, we traced its origins back to 1899 when Nairobi was established. As the city grew, so did the Catholic Church’s efforts to cater to the religious needs of the community. The Holy Family Basilica was built in 1904, with its foundation stone laid in 1960 by Archbishop J.J. McCarthy, C.S.Sp., during the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

Continuing our journey, we encountered the Galton Fenzi Memorial, erected in 1939 in memory of Galton Paul Fenzi, founder of the East African Automobile Association. Also known as the Nairobi Military Stone, it served as a reference point for measuring distances to and from Nairobi and other parts of the country. Inscribed upon it are the words “And an Highway shall be there…”



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