State House (Kenya)
State House Nairobi (2005)
|Former names||Government House|
|Architectural style||Palladian, Neoclassical|
|Address||State House Road|
P.O Box: 40530-00100
|Current tenants||Kenyan Presidential Administration|
|Completed||1907 (112 years)|
|Design and construction|
State House is the official residence of the President of Kenya. It was the residence of the Prime Minister of Kenya from independence until Kenya (12 Dec 1963) transformed into a republic (12 Dec 1964). As the Prime Minister's position was abolished, it has been the official residence of the president since then.
Before the construction of Government House in Nairobi, the first Governor's residence was at Government House, Mombasa, constructed in 1879. Government House in Nairobi, now State House, was built in 1907 in Nairobi to serve as the official residence of the Governor of British East Africa, when Kenya was a colony within the British Empire. The Governor would conduct his official functions at the old Provincial Commissioner's office (now a national monument) next to Nyayo House and then retire to Government House for the day. It was designed by the British architect Sir Herbert Baker.
After independence, Government House was renamed State House. Although it remained the official residence of the Head of State, in practice it became an administrative or operational office occasionally providing accommodation to visiting state guests and receptions on National Days. This scenario has prevailed to-date with the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and President Moi preferring private residences as opposed to living in State House.
State House in Nairobi stands on a 3-square-kilometre (300 ha; 740-acre) piece of land. It is a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Other than the Nairobi one, there are other State Houses in Mombasa and Nakuru.
There are state lodges in Githurai 44 and 45, Eldoret, Sagana, Kisumu and Kakamega. They are scattered around the country to provide accommodation to the president whenever he is touring various parts of the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta once met Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon in Sagana State Lodge, which is said to be Kenya's own version of Chequers in Buckinghamshire or Camp David in Maryland. The president has been said to be shifting key presidential functions to stations outside Nairobi. He also prefers the Mombasa State House where he often spends weeks at a time, usually official duties as well as holidays.
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