Iconic company headquarters with red-white striped candy façade
Red white candy façade
One of Fort’s eye-catching buildings is the former headquarters of the Lankem Tea and Rubber Plantations, a major plantation company in Sri Lanka. The white and red-brick building was built around 1860, just before the Cargill’s building which looks surprisingly similar, just a bit whiter. The building is now used as an office for travel and airline companies.
Lankem still is one of the country’s foremost producers of tea and rubber. They own Dambatenne Estate originally owned by Sir Thomas Lipton, who was instrumental in the building of the Lipton Tea empire and therefore the legacy of Ceylon Tea. His memory still lives on. ‘Lipton’s Seat’ on the tea estate towers over a cliff with a sheer descent of 6,000 feet and offers one of the most breathtaking views in the country.
Sir Cyril & the Buddhist young men
Did you know Colombo not just had a YMCA, but also a YMBA, the Young Men Buddhist Association? Opposite Plantation House you find the statue of Sir Cyril De Zoysa, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist who was the brains behind this foundation that has provided opportunities to play and learn for Colombo kids for half a century.