The iconic post-colonial era monument located in Visakhapatnam’s One Town area is on way to being restored to its former glory. The Town Hall is part of two buildings identified by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to be restored under the ‘Smart City Vizag’ banner. The other structure is the old GVMC building which is located adjacent to the town hall.
Visakhapatnam South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar launched the restoration project her on Sunday. He mentioned that it is one of the primary responsibilities of the GVMC to protect the historic heritage structures in Vizag.
An estimated amount of Rs. 8 crores has been allocated for the entire project from which Rs. 5 crores are to be spent for the GVMC building and 3 crores for the town hall.
The foundation stone for the town hall was laid on April 3, 1901, and was inaugurated on March 8, 1904, by the then District Collector of Vizagapatnam R.H. Campbell.
About Town Hall
Spread over 5000 sq yards, the hall was a prestigious place to be during the 1900s. With the sea visible at one end and the town on the other, it was a gift from the Maharaja of Bobbili to the public. The ‘Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall’ commemorates the British Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Showcasing Victorian architecture, this two-storied building is an impressive example of stone masonry, has a grand portico, large staircases, a huge tiled-roof, false turrets, and circular rooms. Not to be missed are its tiles from Mangalore, beams from Scotland and the grand wooden flooring.
Fact file: A venue for formal dance parties when the British and Indians were friends, it was this hall that later became the centre where the salt satyagraha and other campaigns of the freedom movement were initiated.