|Pre-independen the facade, Writers building, Kolcata, |
|The Writers' Building,Kolkata.urbanruminations.blogspot.com|
The Writers' Building, now secretariat building of the State Government of West Bengal in India, is located in Kolkata, West Bengal's capital. It was the seat of the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal until 4 October, 2013. Lots of tourists come here to see this impressive first colonial buiding in the former capital of British Raj that has Greco-Roman look with a portico in the central bay and the statues sculpted by William Fredric Woodington (in 1883) that line the terrace.
Soon after setting their feet firmly in Bengal under the able leadership of Robert Clive after the wars at Plassey and later at Buxar, the British East India company was on an expansion mode, acquiring more lands, taking advantage of Indian rulers' disunity. The British company
|The Writers' Building, Kolkata.welcomenri.com|
|statues atop Writers' Building, Kolkata. en.wikipedia.org|
|Writers' Building with RBI building, Kolkata, en.wikipedia.org|
Time and tide changes, so does the utility of this historical building in the early years itself. In 1800 Fort William College opened to impart training to writers in Oriental languages, and later it moved over to this building and functioned here for 20 years during which time a hostel for 32 students, exam hall, library and teaching rooms were added. Many of them exist even to day. In 1821, a long veranda stretching 128 feet long supported by beautiful 32 feet high iconic columns, was built both on the first and second floors. The periods between 1879-1906 saw the addition of two new blocks that could be accessed by impressive iron staircases that are still in use. In the same period the building saw a new face-lift - Greco - Roman look, etc., as mentioned before.
The Writers' Building, covering the entire northern stretch of the water body locally called Lal Dighi in the B.B.D. Bagh area, has a Cluster of statues atop the building. The terrace of this building has several other statues, including four clusters of statues, named 'Justice', 'Commerce', 'Science' and 'Agriculture with the Greek gods and goddesses of these four streams - Zeus, Hermes, Athena and Demeter respectively.
In the British East India days and later under the
British Crown (soon after the Sepoy Mutiny) in 1857, so many important decisions were taken by the Governors and other powerful officials right under the roof of this building in tune with the British government in London over managing this huge subcontinent, It was once the most powerful seat of British power overseas, next to London.
This building came up on a plot once occupied by St Anne’s church. This plot along with the adjacent plot were granted to Thomas Lyon, Architect for the construction of building purpose.