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Sierra Leone architecture

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A pedestrian walks past a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on Pademba Road in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. Scattered across Sierra Leone's capital Freetown stand ageing wooden houses, some of which look more like they belong on the east coast of 18th century America than in a steamy west African city. Others look like they may have been built hundreds of years ago in the islands of...more

A pedestrian walks past a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on Pademba Road in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. Scattered across Sierra Leone's capital Freetown stand ageing wooden houses, some of which look more like they belong on the east coast of 18th century America than in a steamy west African city. Others look like they may have been built hundreds of years ago in the islands of the Caribbean, another reflection of Sierra Leone's history as a colony established for freed slaves. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century stands on the main road through the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century stands on the main road through the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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People walk past a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on the main road through the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The home is one of the West Indies-influenced board houses in Freetown - known as 'bode ose' in the krio vernacular. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

People walk past a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on the main road through the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The home is one of the West Indies-influenced board houses in Freetown - known as 'bode ose' in the krio vernacular. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A woman combs her hair in the back courtyard of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Board Houses are a reconstruction of cabin-like structures built in the 18th century on the American eastern seaboard. There were some modifications though, notably a three-foot base layer of porous local stone (seen here) that helped...more

A woman combs her hair in the back courtyard of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Board Houses are a reconstruction of cabin-like structures built in the 18th century on the American eastern seaboard. There were some modifications though, notably a three-foot base layer of porous local stone (seen here) that helped anchor the house down during Sierra Leone's torrential wet season. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Women sit on the porch in the back courtyard of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Escaped slaves and their descendants came to Sierra Leone in the 1800s. Later in the nineteenth century a West Indian regiment was also stationed in the west African nation. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Women sit on the porch in the back courtyard of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Escaped slaves and their descendants came to Sierra Leone in the 1800s. Later in the nineteenth century a West Indian regiment was also stationed in the west African nation. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A girl carries a water bucket while another dresses inside a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Sierra Leone was once largely forested, but Manilius Garber, vice president of the Sierra Leone Institute of Architects, says some Board Houses were also constructed using timber carried as ballast in ships bound for...more

A girl carries a water bucket while another dresses inside a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Sierra Leone was once largely forested, but Manilius Garber, vice president of the Sierra Leone Institute of Architects, says some Board Houses were also constructed using timber carried as ballast in ships bound for Freetown, including old pine from Canada. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Old wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Old wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Old wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The surviving Board Houses are thought to be around 100 years old. In 1940 a British colonial ordinance forbade the construction of thatched dwellings as the original Board Houses were called due to fire hazard. By that stage though the style was...more

Old wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The surviving Board Houses are thought to be around 100 years old. In 1940 a British colonial ordinance forbade the construction of thatched dwellings as the original Board Houses were called due to fire hazard. By that stage though the style was already in decline, as stone and later concrete became more fashionable. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Painted wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on King Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. It is hard to assess the surviving number of Board Houses in Sierra Leone, some of which were destroyed in the country's devastating 1991-2002 civil war. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Painted wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on King Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. It is hard to assess the surviving number of Board Houses in Sierra Leone, some of which were destroyed in the country's devastating 1991-2002 civil war. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Painted wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on King Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. Scattered across Sierra Leone's capital Freetown stand ageing wooden houses, some of which look more like they belong on the east coast of 18th century America than in a steamy West African city. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Painted wooden planks cover the facade of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on King Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. Scattered across Sierra Leone's capital Freetown stand ageing wooden houses, some of which look more like they belong on the east coast of 18th century America than in a steamy West African city. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Painted wood and metal brighten a recreation kiosk attached to a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on the main road through the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Painted wood and metal brighten a recreation kiosk attached to a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on the main road through the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Painted metal covers the walls of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The Board House style has been in steady decline for decades, as stone and concrete became more fashionable. Many of the homes are now dilapidated and patched with sheets of rusted metal to keep out rain during the wet season. REUTERS/Finbarr...more

Painted metal covers the walls of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. The Board House style has been in steady decline for decades, as stone and concrete became more fashionable. Many of the homes are now dilapidated and patched with sheets of rusted metal to keep out rain during the wet season. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Painted metal from flattened oil drums covers the walls of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Painted metal from flattened oil drums covers the walls of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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The ground floor doorway of a former British colonial administration building is marked by age in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. Alongside the Krio Board Houses, the Hill Station area of Freetown is home to another set of striking timber dwellings with a different history. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

The ground floor doorway of a former British colonial administration building is marked by age in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. Alongside the Krio Board Houses, the Hill Station area of Freetown is home to another set of striking timber dwellings with a different history. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A girl looks out of the door of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A girl looks out of the door of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A dog sits on the steps of a door into the compound of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A dog sits on the steps of a door into the compound of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A man listens to the radio amidst a collection of homes built in the style of traditional colonial-era Board Houses dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A man listens to the radio amidst a collection of homes built in the style of traditional colonial-era Board Houses dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A former British colonial administration building stands on stilts in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A former British colonial administration building stands on stilts in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A former British colonial administration building is nestled behind trees in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A former British colonial administration building is nestled behind trees in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A shop attached to a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century stands open in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A shop attached to a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century stands open in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A vendor's kiosk offers goods for sale beside a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A vendor's kiosk offers goods for sale beside a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Rusted metal sheets cover the side of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Rusted metal sheets cover the side of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Jacob Thomas, 48, poses for a portrait outside House 7 on Grey Lane in Congo Town, which local residents say was built in 1902, making it the oldest remaining colonial-era Board House in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Thomas said it was built by his great-grandmother's family after she returned from Britain. She had originally been taken as a slave from her home in Brazzaville,...more

Jacob Thomas, 48, poses for a portrait outside House 7 on Grey Lane in Congo Town, which local residents say was built in 1902, making it the oldest remaining colonial-era Board House in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. Thomas said it was built by his great-grandmother's family after she returned from Britain. She had originally been taken as a slave from her home in Brazzaville, Congo, at that time a French colony, according to the family. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A patchwork of rusted metal sheets covers aging wooden planks on the side of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A patchwork of rusted metal sheets covers aging wooden planks on the side of a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century in the Congo Town neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A former British colonial administration building with a covered stairway stands in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A former British colonial administration building with a covered stairway stands in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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The covered stairway of a former British colonial administration building in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

The covered stairway of a former British colonial administration building in the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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A former British colonial administration building with a covered stairway looks out over the bay from the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. It is often said in Freetown that these houses, which were built for British colonial administrators, came to West Africa flat-packed from the London department store Harrods. The current inhabitants of Hill Station, Sierra Leonean civil servants and...more

A former British colonial administration building with a covered stairway looks out over the bay from the Hill Station neighbourhood of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown April 25, 2012. It is often said in Freetown that these houses, which were built for British colonial administrators, came to West Africa flat-packed from the London department store Harrods. The current inhabitants of Hill Station, Sierra Leonean civil servants and their families, say they do sometimes still get electricity. Pipe-borne water is now non-existent though. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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