Metropolitan Building (Kolkata)
Metropolitan Building in Esplanade, Kolkata before the renovation.
|Former names||Whiteway Laidlaw department store|
|Status||Used as a residential and a commercial building.|
|Address||7, Jawaharlal Nehru Road|
|Town or city||Kolkata|
|Current tenants||Life Insurance Corporation of India & houses many offices & stores such as Big Bazaar & the Central Cottage Industry Showroom. The upper floors are occupied by innumerable tenants residing in box like quarters.|
|Construction started||Early 20th Century|
|Owner||Government of West Bengal|
Metropolitan Building (Bengali: মেট্রোপলিটান বিল্ডিং) is the number 46.26 building on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in Kolkata near Esplanade. Formerly known as the Whiteway Laidlaw department store, it was a famous department store in Calcutta during the British Rule in India. This neo-baroque emporium—with domes, a clock tower, and arched recessed windows—exemplifies fashionable shopping during the British Raj in British India. The building was built in early 20th century.
It is a large building recognisable by its corner tower with the dome raised high on a pavilion. Rustication in the ground floor and a semicircular arched arcade in the first floor. The facade is punctuated by a series of projected and pedimented bays with plain columns and Corinthian capitals. Repaired recently, the Metropolitan Building still stands as an important landmark overlooking the crowded Chowringhee.
In 1991, a fire ravaged the top floor of the majestic Metropolitan Building, which stands as an emblem of colonial authority on the SN Banerjee Road. The building is now being restored by the Life Insurance Corporation of India, but hundreds of original negatives of Bourne & Shepherd—reputed to be the world’s oldest operational photography studio, established in the late 19th century—perished in the fire.
Even after this the building was getting destroyed as no renovation work was done.
The building's renovation work was started and finished in 2009. The building was also freshly repainted with white and golden paint and its exterior structure was also renovated while making extensive changes within so that a modern departmental store can function in it.
Metropolitan Building in Esplanade, Kolkata after the recent renovation.
- Datta, Rangan. "Metropolitan Building, Esplanade, Calcutta | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "1991 fire". Livemint.com. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Value of the past". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Renovation work". Livemint.com. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
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