The Town Hall, and the Old Municipal Office, are some of the oldest heritage structures of Vizag. Given their 120-year-old past, these monumental icons needed a renovation. With an aim of reconstructing archetypical edifices, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials, have almost closed in on the renovation processes. Read on for the history of these Vizag heritage buildings as well as the key aspects regarding the ongoing renovation.
The history of the Town Hall building dates back to the early 1990s when it was built by the Raja of Bobbili. Inaugurated on 8 March 1904, this place is remembered for hosting some of the civic meetings during India’s struggle for independence. A few such events were attended by the champions of the freedom struggle such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir C.V. Raman and Dr. S Radhakrishnan.
The Old Municipal Office has relatively a mix of both modern and colonial styles of architecture. Spread across 1,150 square meters and made entirely out of cut stones, this building earmarked the beginning of modern architecture in Vizag. The Old Municipal Office also happens to be among the first buildings in Vizag, along with the Andhra University Physics Department, to have a self‐supporting steel and concrete enforced roof.
With a cost of Rs. 4.13 crores, for the Town Hall, and Rs. 6.84 crores, for the Old Municipal Office, these two historical buildings of Vizag are currently undergoing renovations as part of the Smart City Project. Here are the key aspects of the renovation work in progress:
- Mangalore tile roofing as per its original design
- Demolishment of the dilapidated portions and re-construction with stone & wood
- Refurbishing of wooden flooring, & rafters, to preserve the aesthetics
- Landscaping, and external facade lighting, to rejuvenate & enhance the aesthetics
- Developing an open-air auditorium
- Proposed to be used as an art gallery, museum and for photo exhibitions