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Heritage Places

BOURNE & SHEPHERD

The four-storied Gothic structure of Bourne & Shepherd, which stands almost unnoticed next to the glamorous Metropolitan Building on S N Banerjee Road in Kolkata, was once one of the oldest photographic studios in the world. Today the building wears a barren look, just another discarded and neglected slice of cruel history.

In 1991, a fire ravaged the building of Bourne and Shepherd and destroyed most of its archival materials. It was a setback from which it could never recover.

Finally, the legendary establishment quietly closed down its shutters in the month of June 2016. Today the building itself is a heritage property, though the company has lost its legal battle against LIC, the owner of the building.

MACKINNON MACKENZIE BUILDING

Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co was founded in Calcutta in 1847 by two enterprising persons of Scottish origin, William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie. Within a short span of time, the Company became a major player in the shipping business and formed The Calcutta & Burmah Steam Navigation Company.

In the near future, all that will remain of the old building will be its stone façade, with almost everything inside it wiped out and refurbished. The Mackinnon Mackenzie building will join some of Kolkata’s finest old buildings that will be lost to history forever amid irreversible structural changes and indiscriminate renovation for the vested interest.

HAZARDUARI MURSHIDABAD

Spread over a massive area of 41 acres, the magnificence of Murshidabad's Hazarduari Palace is second to none. This stunning structure spreads over a massive area of 41 acres on the Kila Nizamat campus, and its splendour is second to none. The breathtaking palace is located on the banks of River Bhagirathi and is famous for its grandeur. Tourists from all over the world flock this attraction every year to escape the present and get a glimpse of the Nawabi lifestyle. The name roughly translates to 'a thousand doors' as this palace is embellished with a thousand ornamental gateways. Out of these, 900 doors are real, and the rest are false doors which were built to confuse any intruders. The construction style of the palace is an amalgam of Italian and Greek architectural styles and is a great example of Murshidabad's rich cultural heritage.The palace is located on the eastern banks of the Bhagirathi river within an enclosure called the Kila Nizamat.

INDIAN COFFEE HOUSE

The history of Coffee House dates back to the 19th century, when it was built as the Albert Hall, the ballroom of the delegates of the East India Company. In 1942, the Albert Hall turned into a coffee joint and in 1947, with the independence of the nation, this coffee joint came to be known as “Coffee House”. It is situated opposite the Presidency College, Kolkata and has been for a long time a regular hang out for students (and ex-students) of the Presidency College, University of Calcutta, and other institutions in College Street

The prestige of the Indian Coffee House increased with a lot of beloved regular customers in all places. As per the blessings of our valuable customers we are celebrating with honour the Golden jubilee year (1958 - 2008). Our employees dedicated a good service to each and every customer. Satisfaction of the Customers is our aim.

METRO CINEMA HALL

The Metro Cinema Hall was built by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an American Production Company, based in Beverly Hills, USA in 1934 to promote their films in Calcutta, which had a large English-speaking population of Britishers. Designed by Thomas W. Lamb, a Scottish born New York based theatre architect, The Metro had a gala inauguration in 1935. It had a grand palatial stairway and a well equipped Bar. The first film that was shown in the grand hall was “Way out West”. During those early decades of that century, despite the presence of the Globe, Elite and Regal, the Metro was regarded as the most modern of the cinema halls in Calcutta, till the foundation of New Empire and Lighthouse in Humayun Place, near the New Market.

Yet the show continued till the fatal blow to the business came during the late 2000s, in the form of rising new multiplexes and the consequent severe loss in the booking office. Finally the theater had no other way but to shut the doors in 2011. The property was auctioned by the heritage commission of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 2012, with the condition to preserve at least the façade of the heritage building. The property was bought by a Mumbai-based realtor who expressed their plan to renovate the theater into a six storey multiplex along with retail and food courts keeping the heritage façade, the front section of the building and the graceful palatial stairways as it is. But, in the process, the graceful lady of Chowringhee area will be lost forever.

SOUTH PARK STREET CEMETERY

South Park Street Cemetery is located on Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata, India. The road used to be called Park Street, and prior to that Burial Ground Road. The South Park Street Cemetery, built in 1767 for the earliest British pioneers of the East India Company. This modern-day necropolis is filled with crumbling colonnades, mossy mausoleums, obelisks, sarcophagi, and stone cupolas. It is the final resting place of the soldiers, sailors, civil servants, traders.

While South Park Street Cemetery is undergoing constant upkeep and renovations, the rich tropical surroundings continue to encroach on the mouldering stones. Green mosses and prehistoric ferns cover much of the grounds making for a haunting setting for visitors looking for a little history in their boneyards.

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