Elphinstone Circle (1872)
Fort (presently Horniman Circle).
The Circle was named after Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay from 1853-1860. An initial proposal to name the Circle after Queen Victoria was turned down in favour of the Governor. The Baghdadi Jewish merchant prince David Sassoon, who had donated Rs 50,000 towards the initial proposal, withdrew his funding on the selection of Elphinstone’s name over Victoria’s; giving us a sense of how the politics of naming worked in colonial Bombay.
The Red Building
Parsi Bazaar Street, Elphinstone Circle, Fort, (presently S. A. Brelvi Marg, Horniman Circle)
The Red Building houses the offices of The Bombay Samachar (1822), Asia’s oldest newspaper. Formerly the premises were also used by the Bombay Chronicle (1913-1949); after whose editors, Benjamin Guy Horniman and Syed Abdullah Brelvi, the Circle and Street, have been renamed.
The Arthur Crawford Municipal Market (1868)
(presently called Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai), Junction of Hornby Road and Carnac Road (presently M. Khana Road).
Arthur Travers Crawford (1835-1911) had a sociable and controversial tenure as a civil servant in various parts of Western India, including as the first Municipal Commissioner of Bombay.
Notice the monogram ‘ATC’ on the clock tower.
Balcony: The Esplanade Hotel (1871)
Esplanade Road, Fort, (presently Esplanade Mansion, Mahatma Gandhi Road).
In the early hotel trade in Bombay, leading proprietors’ names were synonymous with their hotels. The Esplanade Hotel was popularly called Watson’s Hotel, after John Watson, the English proprietor and merchant.
Notice the monogram ‘W’ on the balcony railing.