Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Ezra Mansion, 10 Govt. Place, East

Ezra Mansion
At the corner of Waterloo Street, opposite Great Eastern Hotel, stands a derelict, exposed brick structure. Only the letters I, O and N are visible on it’s fa├žade. Those three letters form the last part of the word mansion, and the name of the building is Ezra Mansion. As far as I can tell, it was constructed by Calcutta’s Jewish real estate tycoon, David Joseph Ezra, in the early 20th century. The portico extending over the pavement originally had cast iron posts which have been replaced with brick piers. The cast iron railings however remain. This is the man who was behind the Esplanade Mansions, Chowringhee Mansions and Ezra Street is named after him.

Though today it is in serious need of repair, in it’s heyday, Ezra Mansion housed Cuthbertson & Harper, one of Calcutta’s best shoemakers, and J.C. Hanhart & Co., jewelers. Cuthbertson and Harper's sign can be seen in the photograph of the building in Intach's book, "Calcutta: Built Heritage Today". It continues to function today as an office block. 

- by Deepanjan Ghosh

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