The building, which holds a very important place in the history of both the Ottoman Empire and the city of Istanbul, was built in the 19th century. The building was constructed for the Spanish-Portuguese Kamondo Family, the first foreign family to acquire the right to own real estate in the Ottoman Empire.
The Kamondo Family were shareholders in the first Ottoman steamboat company, and were also involved in the first banking enterprises in the Galata and Pera neighborhoods of Istanbul. The family founded a modern Western primary school, “Escuela”, where Turkish, French, and Hebrew were taught. Additionally, in the same neighborhood, the Kamondos acquired numerous commercial buildings and constructed the famous Kamondo Stairs, which connected the area to an emerging banking region in Istanbul. Another piece of the family’s real estate empire was the famous “Alcazar d’Amerique”, a theater frequented by the neighborhood’s elite.
A beautiful example of the period’s architecture in Istanbul, with outstanding examples of woodwork and design, the Kamondo Building is significant in the cultural and historical structure of Turkey between the times of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic Era. Over the years, the attic of the building was used as a workshop where leading architects produced their art and designs. Leading names of Turkish literature, culture, science and philosophy, including Arif Dino, Ahmet Hamdi, Sait Faik, Yasar Kemal, Orhan Veli, Oktay Rifat, and Melih Cevdet Anday, frequently met in Kamondo.
Remarkable Restoration of the Historical Building
Capital Partners bought the Kamondo Building on December 30th, 2003 and have protected the historical features and value of the building throughout the renovation process. Now, more than a century’s historical and cultural memories are once again brought alive as the Kamondo Building opens its doors to new tenants.
The remarkable four-story building with shops on the ground floor enriches the architectural texture of the city, while the careful renovation work ensures that Kamondo’s important history is preserved.