Yangon’s only original Dutch gable building
The gable of the old Stork & Co headquarters gives away the owners’ Dutch roots. Frederik Stork was a very successful textiles machinery and rubber entrepreneur and also consul of the Netherlands in those days. The company’s massive red brick office building is called ‘Tubantia’, the Latin name of the Dutch province of Twente, where he grew up. The 1910 chronicle reports: “Stork has recently built commodious offices in Lewis Street, which are the first of their kind in Rangoon. Here spacious godowns are provided for the storage of stock, while the rest of the building is set apart for offices and living quarters for assistants.”
The Dutch were trading with Burma as early as the 17th century, and also during British colonial rule the business ties remained. The Dutch flag carrier KLM was even the first airline to offer regular flights between Rangoon and Amsterdam in 1929 as part of its service to Batavia (Jakarta).
Be careful when you get your camera out, today this is the home of the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI), one of Myanmar’s many secretive security agencies.