Monday, 10 March 2014

Esplanade Mansions

Built in 1910 by Sir Rajen Mukherjee’s firm, Martin and Co., for Calcutta’s Jewish real estate magnate, David Joseph Ezra, Esplanade Mansions is probably the only art nouveau building in all of India. It is located at the crossing of Esplanade Row East and Govt. Place East, opposite the Eastern gate of the magnificent Government House (Raj Bhavan). It is currently owned by the Life Insurance Corporation of India, which owns a number of heritage structures all over Calcutta, and has been, happily, restoring them.

The building originally contained some 24 flats, which were much sought after as they offered a view of Government House’s beautiful wooded gardens. It currently houses the offices of the Chief Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Railways, the Railway Claims Tribunal, the Vice Chairman & Member Technical’s offices, along with offices and rest houses of LIC. Several of the flats remain residential. Ex Indian cricketer, Arun Laal had a flat here.

For many years the neglected building was an obnoxious shade of pink. The recent restoration has left it dazzling white and spotless. 

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