19th Century Conflagrations and the Architectural Landscape of Lagos

Akande, A. O. (2015-07-01)

Article

The 19th century was a boisterous time for Lagos. Quite momentous were the events that they left a significant change on many aspects of Lagos’ urban character and outlook. This paper looks at city fires and how they shaped the architectural landscape of Lagos. While city fires are in some ways a standard occurrence in many sprawling 19th century metropolises, not many received nearly as many fire as Lagos did. Though some of the fire events were acts of incendiarism, a significant number were accidental but the destruction were equally damning. The horror of these incessant fires prompted consistent reactions and policy promulgation by way of ordinances from the Colonial administration. The articulation of these law produced a sequence that initiated the reshaping of the city’s urban fabric. This paper will show that a significant amount of the architectural change and development in 19th century Lagos directly relate to city fires.