Blog Archives

Recognition on its Way for Old Lighthouse in Pondicherry

The 173-year-old lighthouse in Pondicherry, which was abandoned several decades ago and became a dump yard for broken furniture from government offices, has begun to receive due recognition.

Plans are on to promote the lighthouse as a cultural hotspot by setting up a permanent museum inside it to house rare artefacts, images and photographs tracing the rich maritime tradition of ports on the Coromandel Coast and their cultural connections with the rest of the world since the first century BC.

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The Man Behind Many Heritage Buildings in Chennai, Henry. A. Irwin

Henry A. Irwin is the architect of many a heritage building in Madras and elsewhere in India. He designed the Law College to harmonize with the High Court building, the Connemara Library, particularly its magnificent (old) reading room, the King Institute building in Guindy , the Egmore Railway Station, the Victoria Technical Institute’s Jaina Jaipuri home in the museum campus — now the Art Gallery that’s kept shut — and the Tawker Building (belonging to once-famed jewellers, T.R. Tawker & Sons), which became the South India Cooperative Insurance Building, then home of the newly established Indian Airlines southern headquarters. The Life Insurance Corporation of India which succeeded SICI to the building pulled it down in the 1970s and replaced it with a bit of humdrum construction.

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Bharat Insurance building

It is a building that has stood the test of time, and even weathered a demolition attempt. But now it is hard to get a glimpse of the 114-year-old Bharat Insurance building, considered a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. After years of neglect, its owner Life Insurance Corporation has completely draped it with plastic sheets because of a court order.
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Restoration of Victoria Public Hall

In a city bereft of a sprawling auditorium for holding cultural and social programmes, the restoration of Victoria Public Hall located at Poonamallee High Road, Chennai may come as relief. The Corporation of Chennai is racing against time to revive the past glory of the historically-significant structure on EVR Periyar Salai.
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A City of Valued Heritage

This heritage series is for us to remember and commemorate the architectural and cultural spaces in Chennai. The city of Chennai is actually a cluster of several old settlements, with each one having distinct histories and important landmarks. Watch this section for articles on these historical buildings.

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