Old Mission Church (Kiernander’s Mission), Old Fort William, Calcutta, 1774

OldMissionChurch-Beth-Tephillah-1774লাল গির্জা (ওল্ড মিশন চার্চ), পুরনো ফোর্ট উইলিয়ম কেল্লা, কলকাতা, ১৭৭৪
Johann Zachariah Kiernander, a Swedish Lutheran, who was working as a missionary in the south, he was invited to Bengal by Lord Clive. Following a minute of the Calcutta Council, dated March 24, 1760, a large room near the gateway of the old Fort was fitted up as a Chapel. This was in a house given rent free to Kiernander by the Governor. In 1767 he resolved to purchase ground and build a church at his own expense, and the present church was completed, after many setbacks, in 1770. Kiernander himself called it Beth Tephillah (Hebrew: House of Prayer), but it was known to many as Lal Girja. Kiernander’s Mission was the city’s sole Protestant place of worship from 1758 until the completion of St. John’s Church in 1787. Subsequently it became commonly known as the Old Church, or Old Mission Chuch, while St. John’s was often referred to as the New Chuch, or sometimes Pathure Girja, the Stone Church.
The above elevation drawing is a reproduction of an engraving made by G. Hall in 1774, and is the earliest known illustration of Kiernander’s Church at Calcutta. An original print from 1774 can be found at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
OMC 1880sHere is a photograph taken by Francis Frith in 1880s shows that even after a century Kiernander’s Mission Chuch looked quite magnificent, being well maintained, extended and restored. J.Z. Kiernander’s great-grandson, George Henry Kiernander, made several large donations, including one for a stained glass window for the new chancel. The Church still exists today on Mission Row with its grand historical past.

Advertisements

University of Calcutta Senate Hall, c1910

Snap 2013-09-19 at 21.01.56সিনেট হল, কলকাতা বিশ্ববিদ্ব্যালয়, কলকাতা, c১৯১০
The University of Calcutta was founded on January 24, 1857 with a 41-member Senate. By foundation date, it is the first institution in South Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western style university. It had a catchment area from Lahore to Rangoon, and Ceylon. On 30 January 1858, the Syndicate of the Calcutta University started functioning. See more The classical –styled Senate House building, erected in 1872, was the first habitation of the University of Calcutta. The Senate House used to provide the venue for Senate meetings, the chamber of the Vice-Chancellor, offices of the Registrar and also examination and lecture halls. It was designed by a leading Victorian architect, Walter B. Granville, and constructed at a cost of Rs 4,34,697. The building was formally inaugurated on the convocation day: 12 March, 1873. Since then it remained one of the distinguished landmarks of the ‘city of palaces’ until the building was demolished in 1960.
The photograph was taken by Theodore Julius Hoffmann, Calcutta, in early 1910s.. See: Bengal and Assam, Behar and Orissa … By Somerset Playne, and ors.

La Martiniere Boys’ School, Loudon Street, Calcutta, 1836

লা মার্টিনেয়ার বয়েজ স্কুল, লাউডন স্ট্রিট, কলকাতা, ১৮৩৬
Here is the magnificient building of the La Martinière Boys’ School in Calcutta with view of students playing crickets on its wide play ground. La Martinière Calcutta comprises two separate single-sex schools in Calcutta, established and funded in 1836 in accordance with the will of the French-born soldier of fortune and philanthropist Major General Claude Martin. He is estimated to have accumulated a fortune of about 400,000 rupees. The major portion of his monies and estate were left for founding three institutions, one each in Lucknow and Calcutta and his birthplace Lyon. He was a man who loved not only his own country but also the country of his adoption The schools are located in south Calcutta, with the boy school having it’s main gate in Loudon Street and the girl school having it’s main gate in Rawdon Street. They face each other across Rawdon Street. The main boys school building was completed in 1836 and is notable for its European Classical architecture, with the Round Chapel, ringed by imposing Corinthian pillars, at the heart of it. The Lower Circular Road end of the playing field was planted with seven ashoka trees, known informally as the “seven sisters”. These were uprooted to make way for Atmodya Bhavan built in 1979
The photograph was taken by Francis Frith in early 1850s

Bengal Club, Calcutta. Chowringhee Road, Calcutta, 1850s

বেঙ্গল ক্লাব, চৌরঙ্গি রোড, কলকাতা, c১৮৫০
The Bengal Club was founded at Calcutta in 1827. When the Club was first conceived, it was christened the Calcutta United Service Club, at a meeting held in the Calcutta Town Hall. The Club was housed in a building in Esplanade West, erected in 1813. It moved to Tank Square around 1830 and subsequently purchased the house in Chowringhee Road formerly occupied by Thomas Babington Macaulay. The Bengal Club is still in existence at this site.
This is a whole-plate albumen print of a photograph taken by Francis Frith between 1850 and 1854.

United Service Club, Calcutta, 1850s

ইউনায়িটেড সার্ভিস ক্লাব, চৌরঙ্গি রোড, কলকাতা, c১৮৫০
General view of the classical building, housing the United Services Club. “Was formerly styled the Bengal Military Club, the members of which were limited to the I.C.S. and military services. As time, however, moved on and things changed they found that this particular form of exclusiveness was rather an expensive luxury, and very wisely threw open wide the heavenly portals and admitted within their celestial and sacred precincts members of other government services, save and except those of the Bengal pilots. Why the club ever made this invidious distinction, of course I cannot say, but at a later period, recognising possibly the injustice of their action, they rescinded their prohibition, and now the pilots sit in the seats of the mighty amongst the members of the other services. The club house, as many people will recollect, originally stood on the site of Chowringhee Mansions. It was quite an ordinary looking dwelling enclosed by a brick-wall skirting Chowringhee Road, and the building extended for some little distance down Kyd Street” – Recollections of Calcutta. Massey. 1918
Photograph taken from Chowringhee Road by Francis Frith in 1850s.

See a comparable photograph taken by W. G. Stretton taken in the 1870s

Great Eastern Hotel, Old Court House Street, Calcutta, 1850s

গ্রেট ঈস্টার্ন হোটেল, ওল্ড কোর্ট হাউস স্ট্রিট, কলকাতা, c১৮৫০
The imposing palatial building of the colonial era hotel, The Great Eastern Hotel, still stands there on the Old Court House Street, Calcutta. It was established in 1840 or 1841 by David Wilson as the Auckland Hotel, named after George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, then Governor General of India. Prior to opening the hotel, Wilson ran a bakery at the same site. The hotel opened with 100 rooms and a department store on the ground floor. The Auckland was expanded in the 1860s and renamed from D. Wilson and Co. to Great Eastern Hotel Wine and General Purveying Co. In 1915, It became the Great Eastern Hotel in 1915. It was said of the hotel in 1883 that “a man could walk in at one end, buy a complete outfit, a wedding present, or seeds for the garden, have an excellent meal, a burra peg (double) and if the barmaid was agreeable, walk out at the other end engaged to be married” (City of Dreadful Night by Rudyard Kipling)
The Photograph was taken by Francis Frith in 1850s

Old Court House Street, Calcutta, 1850s

পুরনো কোর্ট হাউস স্ট্রিটের দৃশ্য (ছবিতে উল্লিখিত কাউনসিল হাউস রোড  সংকেতটি বিভ্রান্তিকর) , কলকাতা, c১৮৫০
The view was incorrectly captioned in the original as Council House Street instead of Old Court House Street as evident from the description. Old Court House Street connects Esplanade Row (East). It acquired its name from the old court house, that was located where St. John’s Church now stands. The northern part of the stretch is known as Dalhousie Square (East). It was constructed around 1781, when the finishing touches were put to the new Fort William. It is linked with the name of Col. Henry Watson, who brought about many improvements in Calcutta, including the laying out of surrounding Esplanade. The Red Road is an extension of this street. Council House Street connects the western part of Dalhousie Square with Esplanade Row. The view of the St. Andrews Kirk, and Great Eastern Hotel can be seen in the present location. Interestingly, the scene captured in the shot is found an exact match  in ‘Old Court House Street‘ – a wood engraving by some unidentified artist.
This image is a whole-plate albumen print from wet collodion glass negative of photograph taken by Frith Frith in 1850s.