Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXXIII No. 16, December 1-15, 2023

Heritage Watch: Better days for the GPO

At long last the Department of Posts has decided to embark on restoring the iconic GPO located on First Line Beach/Rajaji Salai. The structure, recognised as being of Grade 1 importance by the High Court of Madras has been languishing for quite a while.

Designed by Robert Fellowes Chisholm and completed in 1884, it was meant to be the head post and telegraph office, with three floors. The top storey was the residence of the Postmaster General of Madras for long. The red brick structure suffered steady degradation over the years. The iconic Travancore caps it had on its towers went following a cyclone sometime in the 1980s. The building suffered a fire in 2000 and there followed a sham of a restoration that did more damage than good. There was a second roof collapse in 2011.

An older view of the GPO which appeared in MM, Vol. XX No. 12, October 1st, 2010.

What saved the building was its being in continuous use. And now the postal authorities have signed an MOU with INTACH Chennai to take up the restoration. This is a very welcome move and the choice of INTACH is an inspired one. We can rest assured that the restoration will be a meaningful exercise bringing lost glory to the building. Our pictures, both of recent vintage show the central block of the GPO and the horrible so-called patchwork that the authorities have done thus far on it. May INTACH lead them to better times.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Updated