Dickensian Curiosity

The Old Curiosity Shop
The Old Curiosity Shop

The shop that reminds you of the eponymous novel of Charles Dickens is situated on Mount road opposite Spencer’s. The 8-decade old shop is also called Kashmir Art Palace.

The original shop in England selling odds and ends which inspired the novel was started in the 16th  century, though Dickens wrote the novel only in the 1800′ s. The shop renamed itself the ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ after the novel became popular.

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Fighting for Survival

Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar Choultry
Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar Choultry

The Rajah Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar choultry in front of Central Station was built in 1884 as a rest house for travellers. The building which is notable for its aesthetic and cultural values is one of the structures mandated to be preserved by the High Court.  Now it is on its last stand against ‘development’. God only knows what lies in store!

 

Gilding the Lily?

 

Walls of College of Fine Arts, Madras
Walls of College of Fine Arts, Madras

The Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, established in 1850 as the Madras School of Arts is the oldest art institute  in India.
The original walls of the building are now painted in a glossy red.

 

Windows to a vanishing heritage

Windows of the crumbling Bharat Insurance Building
Windows of the crumbling Bharat Insurance Building

Another view of the partially demolished Bharat Insurance Building. The High Court ordered a stay on demolition based on a  case was filed by INTACH.

The building has been in the half-demolished condition for the last 10 years or so.

Another crumbling heritage building

Victoria hostel
Crumbling Victoria hostel

Victoria Hostel, the red brick building lends it name to the eponymous road connecting Pycrofts Road and Cheapauk MRTS station. During its 115 odd years existence, it has housed thousands of students from the nearby Presidency college. Today, this heritage building is crumbling. The parapets are missing in some places  making it dangerous for those on the upper floors. Rubbish is piled up all around.I understand there are leaking water pipes which weaken the structure further and a collapse may be imminent. From the main road,  the public can see several students having

From the main road,  the public can see several students having bath in the open. Probably there are no functioning bathrooms inside.

Do we have no value for heritage? Do we have no value human lives?