When my Architect home-girl, Chiwunma Anago, reached out to me to do a blog post about Nigerian Institute of Architects’ (NIA) 2018 World Architecture Day event in Abuja, the first place that came to mind was Legacy1995’s Jaekel House. The first time I visited there was for a Nigerian Independence Day event last year. Since then I have been planning to visit there for a proper tour of the building. Since I can’t go to Abuja, what better way to tour the place and celebrate World Architecture Day…combining Architecture and Tourism *wink*
The International Union of Architects (UIA) established the World Architecture Day in 1986. It is traditionally celebrated every year on the first Monday in October to coincide with the United Nations World Habitat Day, under the theme “Architecture… for a Better World”. By choosing a different theme for reflection each year, World Architecture Day aims to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing.
Apparently today is Monday October 1st and it is also Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day. So that is double celebration! Also Nigerian Institute of Architects was established on April 1st, 1960. Meaning they too are celebrating their 58th Anniversary. So should I call it a triple celebration??? *grins*
TOUR OF THE JAEKEL HOUSE
I like anything history related. Therefore, visiting the Jaekel House was a Historical tour. My tour guide, Kelechi, did a good job taking me through the history of the Railway Corporation and the house. I felt like I was back in time.
The Jaekel House is located inside the Railway Compound at 17, Federal Road, Ebute-Metta, Lagos. It was built in 1898 and was named after the late Francis Jaekel OBE, a former superintendent of the Corporation, who retired in the 70s after almost 30 years of service at the Corporation. Jaekel House was formally the residence of the General Manager and was later converted to a senior staff rest house.
This historical building has been standing for over 100 years. It is a true example of a classic colonial architecture, which was restored by Professor John Godwin in collaboration with the Railway Corporation in 2010.
The building is now a “mini Museum” showcasing photographic archives dating from 1940s through to 1970s of personalities, places, historical events in pre and post independent Nigeria and houses artefacts (tools, equipment, attires, pictures etc) of the old Railway Corporation. It is also a joint headquarters for both Legacy1995 and the Railway Museum.
Apart from the Jaekel House tour, there are other tours such as Railway Walkabout, Lagos Island Walkabout, Abeokuta Trip and Ijoko Train Ride. Follow Legacy1995 on Instagram to stay updated on their upcoming tours. The Jaekel House can also be booked to host different types of event.
Legacy1995 is the Historical and Environmental Interest group of Nigeria. It was founded on 14th December 1995.
This group was created to gather committed men and women, Nigerians and non-Nigerians, for the common cause of promoting heritage culture, reservation of the character and appearance of historic monuments and the environment and cultural entities in all parts of Nigeria. This is a very powerful cause!
THE ILOJO BAR STRUCTURE
I recall during the World Tourism Day 2018 Open House Session hosted by ATTWON, one of the speakers, Mr. Olaniyan Olushola, the President of Wikimedia User Group Nigeria (WUGN) shared his experience about one of the colonial structures called Ilojo Bar.
Ilojo Bar was a Brazilian-styled historic building located near Tinubu Square in Lagos Island. It was originally built as a bar and restaurant in 1855 by the Fernandez family who employed returning ex-slaves who had mastered the art of building while in South America. Olaniyan explained that about two days after he and his team took a picture of the structure for their archives, it was suspiciously pulled down. The matter is till under going investigation and its currently under the coustody of the Lagos State Government.
I was pained when I heard this story. This structure is part of Nigeria’s heritage…it is an histrionic monument that needs to be restored. Legacy1995 is currently proposing a restoration of the Ilojo Bar. I really do hope they get the permission to do so.
JAEKEL HOUSE TOUR GIVEAWAY
Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd in collaboration with Legacy1995 is giving a FREE tour of the Jaekel House for ONE lucky winner. To win, kindly follow the instructions below:
(1) Tell us why it is important for us to preserve our monument and how it will help promote the Nigerian Tourism industry. Leave your answers in the comment section below.