Feeling like dancing the night away – Old East Asiatic Company headquarters

The classical Venetian-style building of the East Asiatic Company (EAC) was built in 1884. It is a prominent landmark on the bank of the Chao Phraya river close to the Thaksin pier and on the way to the Grand Palace. It sparks romanticism of the time of King Chulalongkorn in the late 19th century and begs closer inspection.The building is largely in disuse at the moment, but it can be visited and rented for events. We took the opportunity to research the old EAC building on a site visit.Built in 1901 by Captain Hans Niels Andersen, a Danish sea captain, it became the headquarters of his company that has been a famous trading house on Oriental Avenue, or Charoen Krung as it is called today. This was also the first paved road in Thailand respectively the kingdom of Siam.Before establishing his company, Andersen had sailed for the king in the Siamese navy, but slowly moved into teak concessions from the north, water freight goods, general shipping, industry, forestry, slaughterhouses, pharmaceuticals, and plantations. He also had a strong interest in large commercial motorships transporting goods and passengers between Siam and the rest of the world. This part of the company lasted until 1969.The building with its colonial architecture including a Venetian style skyway was home to the company for years. EAC then moved away to the city center where it flourished until parts of it were bought by a German competitor in 2010.Currently the building is in dire need of repairs, but still has the charm of times long gone. I imagined it in all its glory and day dreamed of a long, slow waltz in the main hall.

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