স্পেন্সেস হোটেল, লালদিঘী, কলকাতা, ১৮৩০
Spence’s, the first ever hotel in Asia was opened to the public in 1830 by John Spence. The Treasury Building, originally meant for the Finance Department of the British India and recent abode of AG Bengal, was the site where the Spence’s Hotel was located. This imposing edifice with its magnificent gothic arches and beautiful mansards at each end of the long cloisters running along quadrangles was erected between 1882 and 1884 by architect M.E Martin during the Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon. The Architect was Mr. E. J. Martin. It was necessitated due to the large numbers of visitors coming to Calcutta from Britain and other parts of India. Spence’s was considered definitely the best in Calcutta. As the Government encroached on buildings around Government House, Spence’s Hotel was moved to Wellesley Place near the Governor’s House before eventually being demolished. There is a reference to Spences Hotel in Jules Verne’s ‘The Seam House’ dated 1880. The author writes ”…before dawn, on the morning of our start, I left the Spences Hotel, one of the best in Calcutta which I had made my residence ever since my arrival”.
The photograph was taken by Fredrik Fiebig in 1851 along the Clive Street looking South