Town Hall to be turned heritage hotel | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Town Hall to be turned heritage hotel

Townhall, the beautiful, if crumbling, building thick with Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) babus might soon be transformed into a tourist attraction. With the Civic Center, being inaugurated on Thursday, the civic body has decided to convert the dilapidated heritage building into a hotel.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2010 00:40 IST
Neelam Pandey

Town Hall, the beautiful, if crumbling, building thick with Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) babus might soon be transformed into a tourist attraction.

With the Civic Center, being inaugurated on Thursday, the civic body has decided to convert the dilapidated heritage building into a hotel.

“We are in the process of conserving and re-using this great landmark of Delhi,” said KS Mehra, MCD commissioner.

“We have floated the bid for selecting the consultant to do the process for us. Two firms Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Ramboll UK have expressed interest for the job and we will shortlist one of them very soon."

The plan for re-use includes developing high-end heritage hotel, experiential museum, the haat with food-street and local artisans.

History

Town Hall — sprawling over an area of 16 acres — was built during 1864-66. Civic affairs were not conducted here in those days for it was then the Lawrence Institute of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Later it was converted into the municipal headquarters but the European club and library continued to exist in it. It was damaged in the earthquake of 1905 and 1952. The structure has been classified as having architectural grading A as per INTACH listing of 2000.

The architecture of the building represents the Victorian and Edwardian style. But the statue of Queen Victoria outside has been replaced by Swami Shraddhanand’s. The place where it stands once formed part of the gardens laid by Shah Jehan’s daughter, Jehanara, in which was also situated a beautiful sarai.

Under the restoration plan of Town Hall, the hotel will include an experiential museum, theater hall, open-air amphitheatre and a haat along the lines of Delhi haat.