Category Archives: Watch

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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Now and then there’s a fool such as Mumbai

2 December, 2015
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Fountain: Crawford Market (1868)

(presently named Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai), Junction of Hornby Road and Carnac Road, (presently M. Khana Road).

These now and then pictures of the fountain at the centre of Crawford Market, clearly demonstrate the dismal condition in which our architectural heritage is kept.

Here it seems that the removal of the low wall of the fountain, hastened the structure’s decline. The wall’s immediate function was no doubt to contain the fountain’s water, but it would have also served as a boundary to the structure. The buttresses are also missing.

The fountain is likely to be restored as part of the wider restoration of Crawford Market.

The fountain, designed by W. Emerson and decorated by John Lockwood Kipling, was meant to represent “the spirits of the four rivers of India” along with India’s aquatic animals and plants.

The sketch and description of the original structure is taken from Thomas R. Metcalfe’s An Imperial Vision, p 95.

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Tardeo loses its Dhun, Mumbai Mirror

9 November, 2015
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Tardeo loses

‘Tardeo loses its Dhun’ Mumbai Mirror, 10 January 2015.

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Dhun Lodge Destroyed

25 December, 2014
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Dhun Lodge DestroyedDL 2

Facades: Dhun Lodge (1906)

It is heartbreaking to report that on Christmas Day Dhun Lodge my favourite building was completely demolished, a year after it was flattened to a shell of its former self.
The flattening, which destroyed the design and details of the facade of the building, was probably undertaken to make easier the building’s eventual destruction.
But it takes a special kind of malice to bring Dhun Lodge down on Christmas Day, right in front of Sethna Agiary (fire temple).


Thanks to Benaifar Nagwaswalla and Seema Bhatia-Panthaki for sharing the news and photos.

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Destroying Dhun Lodge

21 February, 2014
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Destroying Dhun Lodge I SS-A0814-DhunLodge01_2Destroying Dhun Lodge Destroying Dhun Lodge Destroying Dhun Lodge I

Facade: Dhun Lodge (1906)

Tardeo Road, next to Bhatia Hospital.

Simin Patel is devastated to report that Dhun Lodge, her favourite building, has been destroyed and diminished to a shell of its former self.
There is no logic to flattening a perfectly solid, sound and splendid structure. It has left the locality bereft of beauty and the name ‘Dhun Lodge’ which perfectly encapsulated the cosmopolitan naming practices of the city. Notice how the developers have removed the year 1906 (on top of the building) and the name of the structure at the entrance.

Many thanks to my mother Veera for informing me of the development late last year when I was in the UK.

On 1 January 2014 when I was photographing the flattened structure from the road, the watchman on the premises repeatedly told me to stop, after which he took a photo of me on his phone. So I took a photo of him and gave him my card.

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