(Last Updated on : 20/08/2013)
Metcalfe Hall is a renowned historical building, built in the memory of Sir Charles T. Metcalfe, who was the Governor General of India during the 19th century. This heritage monument was constructed to honour him for his contribution in favour of free press in the country. The architecture of Metcalfe Hall is a beautiful portrayal of the British colonial architecture during 19th century, and it was constructed in the period between 1840-1844 as per the designs proposed by C.K. Robinson, the then city magistrate.
This building is located at the intersection of Hare Street and Strand Road in the city of Kolkata
, which is referred to as the business hub. Metcalfe Hall overlooks Hooghly River
in its western side. A solid basement serves as the foundation for this building, while thirty giant Corinthian pillars have been built to support the gigantic entablature. Huge columns surround the entire building. A flight of stairs is present inside the main entrance of the Metcalfe Hall, if one enters from the western side. Presently, Metcalfe Hall can be accessed with the aide of a portico which exists towards its east.
The interiors of this historical building consist of two stories, with as many as five halls. During the initial days of its construction, Metcalfe Hall was utilized as the Calcutta Public Library which was founded by Lord Metcalfe. Historians claim that Lord Metcalfe e had transferred about 4, 675 volumes of books from the library of the College of Fort William. Currently, some rare manuscripts and foreign journals of the Asiatic Society
have been conserved in the ground floor of the Metcalfe Hall. The first floor of this building is said to contain a sales counter of the Archaeological Survey of India
, a few exhibition galleries and offices. The collection of books include those on diverse subjects like Arts and Literature, Medical Science, Science, Agriculture, Nature Studies and numerous others. These books are available in all the European languages.
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