Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Colombo: Photo 39
A block up York Street from the GOH: the preeminent colonial emporium, Cargills. In the background are the twin towers of the world trade center and the shorter cylinder of the Bank of Ceylon--all on former barracks land. The Cargills building, which opened in 1906, was built by Walker, Sons, and Co., a firm with exceptionally diverse interests. John Walker, from Perthshire, had begun by building coffee machinery at Kandy in the 1860s. By 1900, his company had 35 Europeans and 1,300 Eurasians on its staff. It ran a retail store in which it sold hardware, automobiles, and bicycles that it itself made under the brand name Serendib. Walker also rebuilt the Galle Face Hotel in the 1890s.
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