There are only three buildings on Dalhousie Square South. All of them are heritage buildings, and magnificent examples of colonial architecture in Calcutta. There is the Standard Building, once home to The Standard Life Assurance Company, and now a government youth hostel, there is Hongkong House, now home to the HSBC Bank, and there are the two magnificent buildings of The Central Telegraph Office, one older, and one considerably newer.
|CTO, Northern end|
|CTO, Southern end|
While the old building was designed in 1868, and completed in 1876, the new wing of the CTO, which is entered from Wellesley Place (now Red Cross Place), was built in 1914. DBHKer’s notes point to an architecturally similar building in Rangoon, which was built a few years earlier and Melbourne’sMail Exchange, built a few years later.
The lower floors of the new wing of the CTO continue to be used for sorting and storing mail, while the upper floors have been converted into a sort of a guest house for postal employees, complete with kitchen, servants and enormous four poster beds. We met a postal employee from Ambala who was being transferred to Port Blair (!!!) and had stopped over in Calcutta for a bit of rest. He greeted us with a very warm “Good Maaaaarning”!
- by Deepanjan Ghosh