Built in the late 19th century, Seven Terraces was a contiguous row of Anglo Chinese terrace houses located just behind the Goddess of Mercy Temple. The row of houses today is a sterling splendid example of an adaptive reuse of heritage buildings that were of low density and low impact. Historically, these houses were a redevelopment of the original Lee Kongsi building circa 1893, in a period of time when George Town Kelly maps were just completed. The row was redeveloped by Koe Guan, the holding company of local millionaire and governor of southern Thailand, Khaw Sim Bee. This row was the first residential and commercial expansion by Koe Guan outside of the original settlement that bordered Pitt Street. Houses built by local property developers along Stewart Lane and Muntri Street at the end of the 19th century were the earliest examples of mass housing that were taller, more imposing and with significantly higher ceilings as compared to shophouses built in other parts of George Town earlier in that century. The architecture of these shophouses, with classical decorative details imported from England, was similar to the traditional urban house models common in southern China. The five-foot-way, a covered walkway that connects these shophouses on the ground floor, was another feature at Seven Terraces that is characteristic of most heritage shophouses in Penang. This unique walkway represents a colonial adaptation designed to suit the tropical climate, providing a length of covered space as a shield from the heat and rain. When you walk into these terrace houses, a distinctive feature of traditional Chinese architecture that strikes your attention and welcomes you was the open courtyards and air wells in the center of the houses. These were open-air spaces that function mostly as natural ventilation for the houses, allowing light and air into the interior rooms to keep the whole house well illuminated in the day and cool the whole day through. Usually, there will also be a second courtyard for the bathroom where rainwater was stored for use in the bathroom. The number of courtyards for each of these houses was relative to the length of the property. There were 200ft longhouses along Muntri Street that have as many as three open-air courtyards. These courtyards were paved with massive granite slabs that add character and warmth to the overall space. These granite slabs were recycled from the ballast carried by trading junks that unloaded the stones at the Penang port, at the end of their return journey. At Seven Terraces, the shophouses were relatively shorter but still highly functional, with each measuring about 100ft in length and comprising an open-air courtyard, wherein the room proportions project a sense of wide living space. Today, the terrace houses have been cleverly transformed into spacious suites on the first floor, with two suites in each shophouse. The ground floor now becomes a public area where the reception, swimming pool, lounge and Kebaya Restaurant were all conveniently located.