Saturday, 13 August 2022

George Steuart Building (Colombo Fort)

George Steuart Building
George Steuart Building (Photo credit: Google Street View)

The George Steuart Building (Sinhala: ජෝර්ජ් ස්ටුවර්ට් ගොඩනැගිල්ල) is located at No. 45, Hospital Street in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. Also known as the "Steuart House", it is one of the oldest buildings built during the British colonial period [(British Ceylon: 1815-1948) Welandawe & Weerasinghe, 2016]

The building was the headquarters of George Steuart & Co. Ltd, the first company registered in Sri  Lanka (Welandawe & Weerasinghe, 2016). The company itself was founded in 1835 by sea captain James Steuart (1790-1870) who secured the business to his brother George Steuart (1808-1896and named the firm after him. Initially emerged as a large-scale coffee producer, the company suffered a temporary setback in the early 1870s when the rust disease Hemileia vastatrix wiped out the country's coffee plantations in 1869. As a result, the company replaced coffee with tea and later became a renowned tea exporter in the country.

The building transformed into a boutique business hotel in July 2015 under the name "Steuart by Citrus". The hotel comprises fifty rooms, situated on eight floors.

References
1) Welandawe, H., Weerasinghe, J., 2016. Urban Heritage in the Western Region Megapolis Planning Project. p.12.

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This page was last updated on 13 August 2022

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