a Grade IIA heritage building ( April 24, 2005), it houses the civic body that is in charge of various aspect of administration of Mumbai Corporation. Covering an area of 434 km2 (167.6 sq miles), it is believed to be the largest civic organization in India as well as in Asia
|Mumbai Municipal Corp.SkyscraperCity|
it was moved over to a building on the Esplanade, where the present Army & Navy building is
situated. Arthur Crawford was its first Municipal Commissioner. Since more spacious building became an important need of the hour, the foundation stone for a new building for BMC (the present site) was laid on December 9, 1884, by none other than the then Viceroy, Lord Ripon. The building with Gothic designs done by Frederick William Stevens became a final choice and the work on the building was completed in 1893.
|Winged Lion, or Gargoyle. |
The attractive architectural features are the central dome that rises to a height of 71.5 m (234.6 ft), the gable with a huge winged allegorical figure representing the 'urbs prima in Indis'( the first city of India as it was to be known then), and the richly molded and paneled Council Chamber having a ceiling of unpolished teak. One can not miss the Winged Lion, Griffin like sculpture or Gargoyle on the building and the impressive Sir Pherosha Mehta Statue in front of BMC at the entrance.
In view of its, historical and heritage values a major restoration work was planned at the cost of Rs. 80 crores and was approved by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee and the civic administration; it is said to be the largest and most comprehensive conservation concept undertaken in the city. Without damaging or tampering with its heritage value, old architectural or aesthetical merit, the conservation work would involve restoration of interiors and the exterior – from the roof tiles to the exquisite Minton tiles inside and to stained glass work, strengthening several wooden beams. Initially, broken tiles, repair of statues, and removal of plants and moss would be taken up to give shape to its old glory.
The restoration plan further also envisages reorganization of office space within the building to improve the operational efficiency of staff members, 'Citizens Facilitation Centre' and and modification of the Corporation Hall by increasing its seating capacity from 200 to 300.
The English might have made their final exit in August 1947, but our connectivity with the past colonial rule is altogether a different matter and the thread should not get broken. we must pass on such heritage sites the to our younger generation. Across many Indian states the respective governments have begun to take steps to repair and restore old structures. in this regard, in the forefront are Kerala and West Bengal.
01. In the present environs, way back in the past there was Phansi Talao or Gallows Tank, where public hangings took place as per records.
|Mumbai Municipal Corp. en.wikipedia.org|
02. The motto of BMC is in Sanskrit: Yato Dharmastato Jaya (Where there is Righteousness, there shall be Victory), inscribed on the banner of its Coat of Arms.