Category Archives: Watch

Oh, no! Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya

1 January, 2017
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Flooring: Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya (1970)
Sheri House, Gunbow Street, Fort (presently Rustom Sidhwa Marg).

It is sad to see that Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya, a popular eatery in the Fort, has changed its flooring from the classic grey and black kota and cadappa stone combination to these slabs of artificial marble.

Checkered grey and black flooring linked several affordable eateries across the city— Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya with Meher Cold Drink House on the same street in the Fort, and Crown Bakery Stores & Restaurant in Mahim.

In the course of 2016, the flooring of Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya was thoughtlessly replaced and Crown Bakery was shut down to make way for the new metro line. That leaves Meher Cold Drink House and a few other eateries to remind us of patterns across the city that were once ubiquitous.

Thanks to Mustansir Dalvi for his assistance with this post.

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All of me

15 December, 2016
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Clocks: Bomonjee Hormarjee Wadia Clock Tower

(1880), Bazaar Gate Street, Fort.

From the time Bomonjee Hormarjee Wadia Esq. died in 1862, to the time this clock tower was built in his memory in 1880, Bombay’s commemorative culture had grown so ambitious that no single bust, fountain, clock tower or religious structure was going to be sufficient to honour a public figure, rather all the above had to be packed together to make a powerful statement.

The Bomonjee Hormarjee Wadia Clock Tower has been expertly restored by conservation architect Vikas Dilawari and the Kala Ghoda Association.

We eagerly await Mr Dilawari’s restoration of Flora Fountain.

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A Bombay without Byculla Railway Station

11 October, 2016
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Windows: Byculla Railway Station (1891)
De Lisle Road and Parel Road, Byculla.

The icons of Byculla seem to have spent portions of their long history relocating or contemplating relocating- the Khada Parsi statue was shifted from the junction of Bellasis and Clare Road to the junction of Clare and Parel Road in 1928; the Byculla Club regularly threatened to relocate from Bellasis Road to the Fort; and the Byculla Railway Station moved a little northwards to its present grand structure on Parel Road in 1891.

Yet it is inconceivable to imagine a Bombay without the Byculla Railway Station. It is a reminder of how Byculla served as the second city centre, after the Fort, for much of the 19th century.

The Mid-Day has recently reported the dismantling of the Station for the expansion of the railway lines between VT and Kurla. This would be an unsurmountable loss to the city and must be stopped.

This intricate ticket counter with the monogram of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) is just one of the examples of the fine architectural embellishments we are at the risk of losing.

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Freedom from vandals this Independence Day

15 August, 2016
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Signage: Great Western Building (1764)

(formerly Admiralty House), Apollo Street, Fort.

We are happy to report that on Independence Day we have cleaned this important historical plaque. The plaque had recently been vandalised.

Many thanks to Miss Nyrika and Miss Vasudha for their assistance and enthusiasm.

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Vandalising a key historical plaque

9 August, 2016
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Signage: Great Western Building (1764)

(formerly Admiralty House), Apollo Street, Fort.

It is sad to see this plaque, one of the most important records of the nature of the early built environment of Bombay, casually vandalised.

As an earlier post showed, this plaque clearly demonstrates the multiple uses structures were put to in Bombay. This multiplicity of space, evident through the 18th and 19th centuries, would ebb from the 1870s onwards, as structures began to be built specifically for the uses they were intended.

A structure could no longer convincingly serve as a hotel, then as a bank and then as a family residence. Hotels were now designed and built keeping their unique function in mind.

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