In 1896, Sir Frank Swettenham (picture) started constructing his official residence above the Lake Gardens. This was Carcosa, probably a stylization of the Italian cara cosa or dear place. In 1904, Sir Frank moved to Carcosa, at the same time finishing a building called Kings House on an adjacent hillside. Kings House, today Seri Negara (which means beautiful country), was to house the Governor of the Straits Settlements as well as other illustrious guests of the Malay Federation.What had once been drawing rooms, studies, and small guestrooms are now suites and function/banquet rooms. Externally, Carcosa Seri Negara preserves its original outlines. The mansions, set against the manicured lawns and the lake gardens, show a part of Malaysia which seemingly can never change.