Lagos Landmarks

Iga Idunganran

Iga Idunganran

Iga ldunganran was built in the 17th century, during the reign of Oba Gabaro. It is the most important of the buildings representing the pre-colonial period. The palace was rebuilt with materials imported from Portugal during the reign of Oba Akinsemoyin.

During the reign of Oba Adele II, a new Iga was built, preserving all the historical associations with the past. At the entrance (the main gate) is the Oba's Coat of Arms. Striking features of the palace include the carved doorways, the Marble Hall, the Reception Hall, the pillars and the covered way with Roman arches. The present King, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, who has been reigning since 2003, currently resides in the palace, which has been listed as a National Monument.


Three White Cap Chiefs

Three White Cap Chiefs

The institution of chieftaincy in Lagos dates back to the very beginning of the settlement of the Island. The descendants of Ogunfunminire and Olofin opened up the new territory and collectively became a new class of chiefs known as the IDEJO, led by Olumegbon.

The statue represents three of these different grades of chiefs, namely the ldejo (landed gentry), the Akarigbere (kingmakers) and the Abagbon (military chiefs). The artwork by renowned sculptor, Dr Sodeinde, is located at the entry to Lagos at Ojota, where there used to be a tollgate. Colonel Raji Rasaki, the then Military Governor of Lagos State, commissioned the statue on 30 November 1991.


African Church Cathedral (Bethel)

African Church Cathedral (Bethel)

The Cathedral, situated in Broad Street, Lagos, was designed by Bagan Benjamin and is on the model of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. It was built by Diya Olu, a local builder of repute, who was killed in a fall from the top of the building in 1918.

It was built with burnt bricks on a strong foundation, reinforced with iron beams imported from London. It is of Gothic architectural design and was dedicated in 1928.The church still retains its original form.


Branco’s House

Branco’s House

This storeyed building, located at the corner of Massey and Branco Streets, dominates the surrounding landscape. It was constructed in the 1880s for the Branco family, who also built another house in Kakawa Street (which was pulled down in the 1950s).

The house on Massey Street still stands solid.


Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Located at the CMS Bus Stop at the Marina/Odunlami Street junction, Christ Church Cathedral was designed in 1925 by Bagan Benjamin, an architect of Brazilian and Sierra Leonean descent. Its foundation stone was laid on 21 April 1925 by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, and its building was carried out in phases over a period of 21 years. The first section was dedicated on 15 June 1928, while the building of the second section started on 27 April 1934 and was dedicated on the 18 October 1935. The construction of the third section began on 5 May 1943 and consecrated on 5 May 1946.

Elias Da Silva House

Elias Da Silva House

Santan Da Silva, one of the Brazilian returnees, built Elias da Silva house on Elias Street 1880. It was built of stone in the style of the Italian Renaissance, with pointed arched windows and pastel-coloured enamel tiles.

Government Press Building

Government Press Building

Situated on Broad Street, Lagos, this was part of the Old Secretariat, built in 1906.

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church

The present church building of the Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church, Ebute-Ero, is the fourth structure to be put up on the site. The first structure was the bamboo wall thatch roof church building erected in January 1852, under the supervision of James White, a Black catechist, later ordained as a priest, who christened it the ‘Cradle of Christianity’ on Lagos Island.

In 1861, this first structure was replaced by a solid mud wall building, but got completely destroyed by the ‘Iga Alaga Great Fire’, which swept through Isale-Eko on 30 Januany 1877. So a third structure built of burnt bricks was put up to replace it. This was dedicated on 31 July, 1878.

The present structure, modelled on a church in Germany, is the fourth church building on that site. The project was started on 15 April 1912, and the new building was dedicated and consecrated for use on 27 July, 1929.


Lighthouse, Tarkwa Bay

Lighthouse, Tarkwa Bay

Burghan, a United Kingdom-based engineering firm, built the Lighthouse in 1890. It is conical in shape and was built with burnt bricks to provide guidance for sailing vessels in and out of Lagos.

The Lighthouse, which still retains its original form, was initially gas-powered. However, on 18 December 1990, the revolving beacon light was changed to a solar powered one. The solar lighting system was manufactured by Pharos Marine Ltd of the United Kingdom.


National Theatre

National Theatre

The multi-purpose National Theatre is located at Iganmu, where it is easily accessible from all parts of the city. It covers 23,000 sq. metres of land and stands 30 metres high. The theatre was built for the preservation, presentation and promotion of arts and culture in Nigeria. It is modelled on the Palace of Culture and Sports at Varna in Bulgaria. Its construction started in 1973 by Techno, a Bulgarian firm. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, then Nigerian Military Head of State, commissioned the complex on 30 September 1976. It was the main venue for the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77) held in Lagos and Kaduna, Nigeria, in February 1977.

It remains an architectural masterpiece and a cultural landmark.


Oshodi Cenotaph

Oshodi Cenotaph

The Oshodi Cenotaph was built in honour of the late Balogun Tapa Oshodi to commemorate the centenary of his death in 1968. Situated at the end of Oshodi Street, Epetedo, Lagos, it was built with mud and fenced with iron railings.

The Nigerian Railway Compound

The Nigerian Railway Compound

Established in 1896, the building activity, which has expanded over the whole of Nigeria all started in Lagos, the former federal capital. Some of the first railway stations still exist, but most of them have been modified or renovated. Nigerian Railways has its headquarters and also owns residences for the senior staff members in Ebute-Metta. The main office building, which has been in use since 1912, remains in its original form and it shows the characteristics of British colonial architecture.

Two additional senior staff residences dating from 1907 still stand along Bode Thomas Road. Some slight interior alterations have been made, but in essence, these houses are in their original forms.


Saint Anna Building

Saint Anna Building

The building, located on 9 Broad Street, Lagos, was designed by architects in the colonial civil service and built by the Public Works Department in 1925. It was built with burnt bricks and has remained a court building since completion.

It was formerly the property of the Federal Judiciary, but passed to the ownership of the Lagos State Judiciary in 1968 with the separation of Lagos to form a state of its own. It still retains both its original function and design.


Taiwo Olowo's Cenotaph

Taiwo Olowo's Cenotaph

This monument, situated on Broad Street, Lagos, was built in 1905 in honour of Chief Daniel Conrad Taiwo (alias Taiwo Olowo).

The tomb is characteristic of Muslim funerary monuments. It has a traceried canopy and pinnacles with floral mortises and a bronze plaque.

Chief Conrad Taiwo was of Oyo ancestry and came to prominence in 19th century Lagos by a combination of commercial success and political astuteness. He died in 1901. The monument is believed to be the work of Senhor Joas Baptista da Costa.


Tafawa Balewa Square Complex

Tafawa Balewa Square Complex

Tafawa Balewa Square was designed in the 1950s by Cappa & D’Alberto Ltd to occupy the site of the former Racecourse. It was built between 1960 and the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. It was the venue of the symbolic lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of the Nigerian flag on 1 October 1960. It was later named after the first Prime Minister of Nigeria. The Tower of Unity was added in 1970 while the Remembrance Arcade, the ceremonial edifice, was incorporated in 1975 to a design by Messrs Frydrew Atkinson.

Water House

Water House

This house, also known as Da Rocha House, was built in1875 for Jao Esan Da Rocha, a returnee from Brazil and patriarch of the famous Da Rocha family of Lagos. It is a replica of the Da Rocha family house in Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.

Returnees from Brazil who started arriving in Lagos inthe mid-19th century had agreat impact on the social life of Lagos, a major part of which was the distinct characteristics of their buildings in Bamgbose Street and Campos Square. It was therefore no accident that at a time when drinking water was a rarity in Lagos, Water House had a unique water supply system, which served the owners/residents as well as its immediate community.

Water House has been declared a National Monument.


Yoruba Tennis Club

Yoruba Tennis Club

The Yoruba Tennis Club was formally established in September 1926. Its first project was the construction of a modern lawn tennis court on a piece of land allocated to the club by the Colonial Government at Onikan, the present site of the National Museum.

A clubhouse constructed with burnt bricks was built on the site in 1936. In 1961, the Club was relocated to its present site when its former premises was acquired for the building of the National Museum.

The original clubhouse has undergone many changes over the years, with ultra-modern new buildings replacing old ones. A pavilion donated by the late Chief (Dr) Modupe Norman-Williams occupies a majestic position on the premises, adding to the general beauty of the club.


Jaekel House

Jaekel House

Built in 1898 and set on a large expanse of landscaped land,, ‘Jaekel House’ was named after the late Francis Jaekel OBE, a former superintendent of the Corporation, who retired in the seventies after almost thirty years of service for the Corporation. Jaekel House was formally the residence of the General Manager and was later converted to a senior staff rest house. Standing for over 100 years old, Jaekel House is an example of classic colonial architecture, that has been painstakingly restored by Professor John Godwin in 2010 to be the joint headquarters for Legacy and the Railway Museum. It showcases photographic archive dating from 1940s through to 1970s of personalities, places and historical events in pre and post independent Nigeria.

 

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