East java is rich in natural beauty and artifical as well as cultural and tourist attractions. One of them which has historical value is the Grahadi state building at jalan Gubernur Suryo 7, Surabaya.
The name 'Grahadi' is derived from a conference hall inside the building. Graha in Sanskrit means 'house' while Adi signifies 'distinguished'. Thus Grahadi means 'distinguished house'.
The name was proposed by the late Mr. Sandjojo, a lecturer at the 10 November Institute of Tecnology in Surabaya.
The edifice was built in 1795. It is adjacent to Surabaya's main shopping center, Tunjungan. In the Dutch colonial period it was known as 'residentswoning' (resident's mansion).
Although it is two centuries old, the building still retains its solidity and original shape.
Those who admire and are interested in architecture will at first sight be captivated by the peculiar architecture from the Dutch Indies colonial time, which is dominated by proportionate and orderly vertical and horizontal lines.
As such the Grahadi building deserves to be reckoned among the monumental building which have been properly preserved.
The main part of the two-storey building covers an area of 2.400 square meters. The annexes occupy an area of 4,125,75 square meters. The total area of the site is 16.284 square meters.
Palm trees and green grass fields in the front yard add to the charm of the view on this building.
The two-century old Grahadi still looks solid, based on its architectural style supported by a matching structural construction using wellknown established techniques.
The walls in the spacious, high halls and rooms on the ground as well as upper floor are from bisred bricks without concrete and cement, Nonetheless they are still stable and firm.
Wooden doors and windows with large, clear glass provide ventilation and circulation of fresh air in the halls which have ample daylight.
Teak wood used in the door and window panes as well as to support the structures on the ground and upper floors.
The entire flooring on the upper storey is made of thick teak wood. Long and big beams support the structures.
The stairs connecting the ground with the upper floor are entirely of teak wood and maintained in their original state, not touched by modern techniques.
The building also has terrace on the frontside. The roof of the facade is sustained by a colonade of pillars in Roman/Greek style.
Grahadi was built in 1795. At that time the Dutch commissioner Dirk Van Hogendorp (1794-1798) considered his downtown mansion, near the Red Bridge, was not concurrence with his status.
He selected a site on the bank of the Kali Mas river to built a more representative garden-house. The piece of the land was the property of a rich Chinese businessman, who at the beginning was reluctant to give up his property.
However, the story said, he was at last forced in a subtle way, to place his piece of land 'in safekeeping and symbolically paid 2,5 cents. Hence the original name of Simpang for the present jalan Gubernur Suryo.
Van Hogendorp spent 14.000 rixdollars on building his garden-house.
However, he was not allowed to enjoy staying is his dream house longer than three years.
During his tenure of office complaints reached the Goverment of the Dutch East Indies in Batavia (Jakarta) about his irregularities and misuse of power.
On January 1, 1798, while he was on his way to a New Year's reception, he was arrested and sent to Batavia. Daendels, known as the 'thunder' Governor General improved the Grahadi building when he visited Surabaya in 1810. He wanted it to become a palace.
Across the river, behind the building , a bridge was built.
Initially the front of Grahadi faced the river. During tea-hours in the afternoon the occupants could see small vessels with passenger up and down the river.
Later on sessions of the Court of Justice were often held in Grahadi besides receptions and other parties.
In 1802 the front side of the building which originally faced the North, was changed into the South until the present time.
Opposite Grahadi was Kroesen park,laid out in commemoration of resident J.C. Th. Kroesen (1888-1896). Behind the park stands the Jokodolok statue from the Majapahit Kingdom.
One of the furniture in Grahadi which origins from the Dutch colonial time is the desk in the Governor's study.
The last Dutch Governor who resided at Grahadi was Ch. Hartevelt (1941-1942).
Since Indonesia's independence, the first Governor who took up residence in Grahadi was R.T. Soerjo (1946-1949). His statue is facing the state building.
When Governor Samadikoen (1940-1957) took office, Grahadi became a state building where prominent vicitors of the Governor are received, receptions and other meetings are held. The Governor himself has another mansion elsewhere in the city.