It was built in honor of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, who was a British and was known for promoting economic development in Sindh and also for making the Sindhi Language compulsory to use in Sindh instead of Persian. Basically Frere Hall after Sir Henry Bartle Edwards Frere’s death become a museum which include all the paintings and books from the British Colonial era.
As of 2016, Frere Hall is still open for public and it is also one of the most important place for tourism because not only the building are really well architect but it also carries a lot of information of British rule in Sub-Continent. Frere Halls is also one of the main building made for British in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.
The Hall is ideally located in front of the Marriott hotel and right next to Sindh club. It’s located between Haroon road (formerly Victoria Road) and Fatima Jinnah Road (formerly Bonus Road) and it’s also surrounded by American Embassy and Singapore Embassy. So basically the area is also surrounded by High Security zone because of embassies. It is located in civil lines locality of the town.
Frere Hall stands proud with overlooking the distant horizon. This 151-years-old construction serves a deeper historical purpose, one that is traveled with people, their culture and their practice through the decades. Out of 13 different design option where considered for the project but Lieutenant Colonel Clair Wilson’s architectural design clearly stood out which gave the Hall Venetian-Gothic look.
The layout of the Frere Hall is the perfect blend of British architecture and Sub-continent architecture. The architecture includes multiple pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses. Amazing craving on the walls and beautifully articulated mosaic designs are visible on multiple walls and pillars which supported the building and which attracts the tourist a lot.
The total cost of this hall was about Rs. 180,000 out of which the Government contributed Rs. 10,000 while the rest was paid for by the municipality.
The Hall is surrounded by two lawns originally known as "Queen's Lawn" and "King's Lawn" and later on after independence they were renamed as Baghe-e-jinnah (Jinnah garden).
The lawns were closed for public because of the terrorist attack attempt on the U.S consulate which caused the park to close down for general public until 2011. It was reopen in Spring of 2011 and everything went back to normal because the Consulate was relocated.
History Of Frere Hall
Frere Hall throughout the time period was used for different purposes. During the Raj the Hall was used as Town Hall and housed a number of busts including King Edward VII's which was a gift from Seth Edulji Dinshaw. Frere Hall also consist of oil painting made by Sir Charles Pritchard who was a former Commissioner of Sindh.
After the British Raj the Hall was made into a library which is also known as Liaquat National Library. Its one the biggest library in Karachi, Sindh,Pakistan which host more than seventy thousand books including rare hand written manuscripts which worth a lot these days.
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- J.W. Smyth, Gazetteer of the Province of Sind B Vol 1 Karachi District, Government Central Press, Bombay 1919. Reprinted by Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi Pg 70
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- Downey, Jake (2003). Better Badminton for All. Pelham Books. p. 13. ISBN 0720702283.
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