Royal. Splendiferous. The building with a character, a story, a tragedy. Mules Mansion’s grandeur cannot be ignored despite its dismal state. A masterpiece on already impressive resume of Moses Somake, It has variety of distinct features influenced from Anglo-Oriental and Renaissance methods. Situated on one of the busiest roads in Karachi, It has suffered terribly from pollution, dust and its opportunist residents.
Mules Mansion was named after the first chairman of the Karachi Port Trust, Charles Mules. It has functional orientation and was meant to cater for functional needs of KPT. The mansion served as the Naval Headquarters after partition for sometime. Later on it became private property and was used for residential purposes. This started the slow and painful demise of its youthfulness. Now the ground floor houses few shops which have invested in this building in their own manner: By putting distemper on it which has destroyed the layers of stone on the ground floor. A fire broke out after sometime on the top floor and its aftereffects are still visible giving building a bereaved look.
To reach there, drive toward famous Native Jetty bridge. Head to the port and right before the port tower you will find it on your left. Chances are that a truck or two will be parked in vicinity blocking the whole view. Take a picture either from the other side of the road or from the near by police station as the building is too large to fit in one shot. Take a moment to appreciate the orderly arrangement of its columns. Another to appreciate its symmetry and so on.
Chances are that you will stay there for sometime, reminiscing of days of yore when an architectural project was an aesthetic undertaking and not just a commercial labor.