|Another imposing building in Tower Road now being converted to a heritage hotel is the famous Koder House, a magnificent three-storied structure in brick-red.
The building was a Portuguese mansion of the 1800s. In 1905, Samuel S. Koder, who belonged to an illustrious Jewish family of Cochin, bought and renovated it to give its present structure. Koder, who ran the Cochin Electric Company, was also the Honorary Consul to the Netherlands, and it was he who began the Cochin wing of the Free Masons.
The building remained with the Koder family until one of Samuel Koder’s grandchildren sold it. the third generation sold it. Many prominent personalities such as prime ministers, presidents, ambassadors, highly placed government officials and businessmen have visited the House.
Architecture and ambience
While rebuilildng this colonial structure, Koder had definite plans for it in mind. He changed it into a house that was a fine example of Indo-European architecture.
The house has spacious rooms with windows opening towards the sea. It has opulent wooden floors, carved wooden furniture and verandah seats at the entrance are some of its architectural peculiarities. The floor tiles set in the pattern of a chess board and the high glass paned windows are other unique features of the mansion. The window glasses are believed to be imported from Belgium.
It is said that there were wooden balconies attached to the top floors of the building, but that structure has become a thing of past now. The wide teak staircases and the huge open spaces on all three floors add to the splendour of the building. The photographs depicting the building’s history are kept on the ground floor of the building.
The famous wooden hanging bridge with iron railings, dating back to the 1920s, is another peculiarity of Koder House. The bridge offers a bird’s eye view of Rose Street, which is right below, to a person standing on it.
The bridge connects the building with the first floor of the shop across the street that used to be the Koders’ office. As the two buildings are now owned by two people, the entrance to the first floor has been walled off.