The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon be restoring the landmark Cooperage Band Stand garden in South Mumbai at an estimated cost of Rs50 lakhs. The heritage garden will be restored to its original shape and work is expected to start by January-end, civic officials said.
Located close to the Oval Maidan, the location was known for hosting musical bands previously. By undertaking the renovation, the civic body is also looking at reviving the culture of musical bands also.
The wooden structure, which has decayed and deteriorated over the years, will be restored. The Mangalore tiles on the roof of the structure will be replaced with metal sheets, like it was earlier. The lighting around it will also be improved so that it can host cultural events. Information plaques depicting the historical and cultural significance of the structure will also be put up.
Rahul Chemburkar, a conservation architect and the consultant for the project said, “We are looking at archival images to restore the place to its original glory. Over the years, it has lost its character with various additions. We will explore and reinstate it to what it was.”
According to city historian MD David, the garden got its name from the word ‘Cooper’ — one who makes or repairs barrels and casks. He said, “With its proximity to the sea, the area was used by the Navy. The landscape changed over the years and it started being used as a band stand where people would come during lunch hours or in the evening to see musical bands perform.”
Apart from the garden, the civic body is will also take to restoring five pyaaus — drinking water fountains — in the city. There are 50-odd pyaaus in the city built by Arab, Jew and Parsi merchants.
The pyaaus to be restored are Horniman Circle pyaau, Madhavdas Laxmidas Kothari pyaau (restoration to be undertaken by the Kala Ghoda Association), Devidas Purshottamdas Kothari pyaau in Fort, Kalachowkie pyaau and Anand Vittal Koli pyaau at Dadar (to be undertaken by Vaastu Vidhaan Projects).