Kampala Road’s historic buildings

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By  Henry Lubega

Posted  Sunday, December 8   2013 at  02:00

Kampala is famous for its mushrooming buildings but it still has the historic charm and a bit of well-preserved architectural treasures. It is best explored on foot and can make a living history book. Every building and street corner is its own chapter. Discover years of history in this central part of the pearl of Africa. This will amaze you as you read about their current locations.

Follow in the footsteps of the writer and you will see what was erected 85 years ago! Explore the buttresses of Kampala road. They’re one of a kind this side of Kampala. They have braved teargas, pepperspray, and survived demolition.

A view of Kampala Road
On Kampala road immediately after the post office overlooking Kibuli hill in the back ground. On the immediate left is Bank of Baroda, next is Barclays bank, next to the bank is the Eagen House formerly known as Motor Mart Uganda’s first indoor car show room now housing Nandos restaurant.

The tree in the middle background gave way for Uganda house and former Uganda Commercial Bank UCB building. The traffic lights in the middle of the road gave way to roadside lights. Current development on the left include the Diamond Trust Building.

The extreme back ground is Kibuli hill with the Kibuli Mosque standing out on the hill. However with the new developments on the hill the Mosque is kind of over shadowed.

Patel Press
Built in 1924 its one of the oldest building on Kampala road, It was built by the Patel family which owned the first printing business in Uganda besides the one started by Church Missionary Society. The Patel press has been a witness to the changing faces of Kampala road. Many of those around it have given way for more modern structures. It one housed the famous Premier lottery in the mid 1990’. Not so long ago its upper floor had been turned into a night club.

Bank of Uganda complex
The latest addition to Bank of Uganda complex was built in the 1950 by the National Bank of India and it was one of the first banks in Uganda. It went on to become Grindlys Bank up until when it was purchased by Stanbic Bank, from whom the Central Bank acquired it from.

Drapers House
Constructed in the early 1930’s it was the first departmental store in Kampala by 1943, behind it was the first Supermarket called Cashco supermarket. The departmental store and the supermarket were looted clean during the 1979 looting after the Liberation war. It also housed the State Wide Insurance Company before becoming Crane Chambers.