Metcalfe Hall,Kolkata. www.indiamike.com
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Metcalfe Hall, named after Lord Metcalfe, who initiated for the freedom of press in colonial India, was built in Greek architecture and this building had been a library from 1903, but before it, was the hall of conferences during the time of Reformation of Bengal. In all respects this historical building in Kolkata has close similarity with the ancient buildings of Greece.
Metcalfe Hall is declared a heritage building situated in Kolkata, at the junction of Strand Road and Hare Street in the heart of the city's business district. The architecture also has close bearing with the British imperial architecture at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Built between 1840-1844, as designed by the city magistrate, C.K. Robinson, and named after Sir. Charles
T. Metcalfe, the Governor-General of India, in honor of his efforts towards a free press, the building stands majestically, facing the Hooghly river on the West. The notable Greek order of the architecture was copied from the Tower of the Winds in Athens. It was once considered one of the time tested designs of durability and lightness. As in the Greek buildings, Metcalfe Hall is raised on a solid basement and thirty huge Corinthian pillars that support a massive structure. The main entrance from the West comprising a giant flight of stairs has been closed. The building is now accessed through the portico on the East.
This two-story building is made of five halls. It housed the Calcutta Public Library collection, formed by Lord Metcalfe, then the Governor General, who transferred 4,675 volumes from the library of the College of Fort William. Most of these volumes and donations of books were from individuals that formed the core of the library. The library was under the private management. Dwarkanath Tagore was the first proprietor of Calcutta Public Library.
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