Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXIX No. 24, April 1-15, 2020
Very often, a building needs to be preserved because of the style of architecture that it represents. Appar Acchagam is a classic instance. Designated a Grade 2a status by the Justice Padmanabhan Committee, the building located in Broadway/Prakasam Salai has, according to the same committee report, the following features – “Arches of the front façade are of the multi-focal type spring from circular columns. The side and rear façade are simply treated. Spaces in the arch above the window panes are paneled with glass. Original colours are retained; black columns, red walls and grey stone arches.” Not one of these elements can be found today for love or money.
This beauty built of brick and lime mortar, finished with lime plaster and topped with a jack arch roof supported by steel girders, was once the office of Maricar Sadullah – Jeweller and Ruby Merchant, going by what is inscribed on the arch. In 1938 (and not 1948 as erroneously given in the Padmanabhan Committee report), this became the office of the Ananda Vikatan after it shifted from a humbler home in Mint Street. This was where, according to writer SaVi, some of Tamil’s literary greats expressed themselves. The list is long – Kalki, Devan, P. Sri, Kothamangalam Subbu and others. Vikatan later moved to Mount Road from where it still functions. The building became home to Appar Achhagam, a printing press and after that, appears to have been given over to the elements. Its fate is now uncertain.
Old OLD is courtesy Ananda Vikatan and dates to 1938. Our NEW was taken in 2016.