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The Man Who Built Karachi – Moses Somake

The Man Who Built Karachi – Moses Somake, an exhibition at TDF Ghar was designed solely for the people of Karachi to celebrate the work of an Iraqi descent architect. This pioneer architect was the mastermind behind many stone buildings of this colonial city including Mules Mansion, Edward House, Flagstaff House, and Karachi Goan Association Hall.

About Somake
Yasmeen Lari
Co-founder and CEO – Heritage Foundation Pakistan

Yasmeen Lari speaks about Moses Somake, the genius behind astounding structures like Mules Mansion, BVS School, the Karachi Goan Association Hall, Edward House, and Flagstaff House. She also talks about preserving the heritage and the restoration of these neglected buildings.

Rumana Husain
Author of Karachiwala

Rumana Husain, author of Karachiwala – A subcontinent within a city, sheds light on her struggle to find out about the Jewish community in Karachi when writing her book. Her quest eventually led her to the relatives of Mary Wyse, wife of Moses Somake. This opened doors to a plethora of anecdotes and facts about the architect.

Edward House was built in 1910 and is based on Moses Somake’s signature architectural design; amalgamation of simplicity with grandeur. It is a double-storey structure which is constructed using strong detailing and rusticated masonry. Edward House was one of the popular spots of the metropolitan back in the early decades of the 19th century….

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Flagstaff House, also known as the Quaid-e-Azam House Museum, is one of Somake’s first known building. Built-in the 1890’s, this historic building consists of arched openings, carved pillars, semicircular balconies, and six spacious rooms. It was rented by the British Indian Army and served as a residence to senior officers including General Douglas David Gracy, who later became the….

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The Karachi Goan Association Hall is a classic example of stonemasonry. In 1886, the Goan Portuguese Association (later renamed the Karachi Goan Association) commissioned a little-known architect named Moses Somake to design this leisure club. It quickly became the center of social life for the Goan community (composed of Catholics of Portuguese-Hindu descent) in Karachi….

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Mules Mansion was built in 1917. It blends Renaissance and Anglo-Oriental methods of architecture in a distinctive style. Mules Mansion had once been the grandest and most recognizable buildings in Karachi. It was built to serve the porters of Karachi Port Trust. The structure is ornate with prominent features like pilasters and vaultings on the roof. Virtually empty except for a….

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Bai Virbaiji Soparivala (BVS) Parsi High School was built in 1905 as a school for the Zoroastrian community. The school has nicely carved features in its pilasters and a pediment which further enhances the entrance design. Architectural features such as the arched doorway, Corinthian capitals, and tall pilasters of the building make the stonemasonry appear like a colossal work of art….

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