The President’s House is a fine building which serves as the residence and offices of the elected President and is situated in the Colombo Fort area. Before independence in 1972, this was the residence of the Governor-General and was known as either the King’s House or the Queen’s House, according to which monarch was on the British throne. This was where the Governors (until 1948) and later the Governors-General lived (until 1972), from 1804 onwards. The house is set in the 4 acre Gordon Gardens, laid out in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887 by the then Governor, Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon (1829-1912), later Lord Stanmore, at his own expense. The Gardens boast a variety of trees. A marble statue of Queen Victoria was removed from the gardens in 2006. Gordon Gardens were open to the public until 1980, when it was made part of the President’s House, but is now off-limits to the public. All distances from Colombo are formally measured from the President’s House.
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