Cargills York Street Colombo
Historic Cargills building The iconic Cargills building in the centre of Colombo Fort was originally the residence of Captain Pieter Sluysken, the former Dutch military commander of Galle. It was subsequently occupied by the first British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Frederick North, who lived there for a short time before moving to a spacious villa in Hulftsdorp. The building was acquired by Cargills in 1896, while D.S. Cargill was Chairman, Walter Hamilton the Director and William Jenkins was General Manager.
Construction of the current building commenced in 1902, it was designed by Edward Skinner, built by Walker Sons and Company and completed in 1906. A foundation stone dated 1684 and a wooden statue of Minerva (Roman goddess of wisdom, arts and trade), both retrieved from the gable end of Sluysken's house, are preserved by the ground floor lift. By 1909 employed "an executive staff of 32 Europeans and 600 hands." Following a successful bid by Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner the business was incorporated as a Public limited company on 1 March 1946. In 1981 Ceylon Theatres acquired a controlling interest in the company and Albert A. Page was appointed the Managing Director. Page went on to become the Chairman of Cargills on 26 November 1982.