Meeting: “W. Osborn Keats, a colonial architect and Chiang Mai, 1915-1925”.
Tuesday, 17 December 2019.
talk by Graham Jefcoate.
In this lecture, I set out to discover the story of Walter
Osborn Keats (1872-1938) and of his architectural legacy in Chiang Mai.
remarkable heritage buildings associated with Keats have been preserved
here: the British Consul’s House (1915), now part of the Anantara
Resort, and the former Thaw Chapel at the Leper Asylum (1921-1925), now
the Santitham Church at the McKean Senior Center. It was the latter
which Keats regarded as his “chief work” as an architect, although his
association with the church has almost been forgotten.
search, we shall learn not only about the life and times of Keats
himself, but also meet a range of fascinating Chiang Mai people of the
period, including the celebrated Consul Wood and his Chief Clerk, Mong
Ba Thwin; Dr James D. McKean of the Leper Asylum, his assistant Chantah
Indravude, and the community of lepers; and finally Paul A. Reichel,
the Architect to the American Presbyterian Mission, and his talented
young trainee Mong Tan.
The search will take us back into that
“foreign country”, the quite recent past of Chiang Mai and its various
communities, a past where people may have done things (and thought
about them) differently to us, but whose legacy lives with us - and
maybe in us - today.
Graham Jefcoate (1951) is a retired library director whose career included posts in Britain, Germany
and the Netherlands. He has published extensively in the fields of
book-trade and library history, and especially Anglo-German cultural
exchanges in the 18th and 19th centuries. Recently, he has turned his
attention to the Anglo-American community in Chiang Mai at the
beginning of the 20th century, and to its architectural legacy.
File for downloading or reading online - 10