If you are on jalan Gajah Mada and passing the famous Gedung Arsip, around few hundred meters further, you will find a colonial house with Chinese traditional architecture inside a tall modern hotel building. The antique house is called Candra Naya, once owned by the last ‘Major’ of the Chinese community, Khouw Kim An.
There is no definite reference that explain when was this house being built. But there were two possibilities, either it was built by Khouw Tjeng Toan in 1867, or by Khouw Tian Sek (father of Khouw Tjeng Toan) in 1807.
After the Major died, the house was used for a social gathering of Chinese community called Sin Ming Hui (‘Sinar Baru’) in 1946. And the house’s name changed into Candra Naya in 1960 when at that time the spirit of nationalism was heightened by replacing every colonial names.
Although Candra Naya is protected by the government as cultural heritage, in 1992 the house was bought by a developer and partly demolished to build a 24-storey hotel and apartment building. Only the first and second house have been left to stand inside the lobby. The residence changed ownership few times, and currently (2014) a chain hotel occupied the high rise building. -SK-