Restoration work gains speed

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The much-delayed renovation of the historical Ripon Buildings and the adjacent Victoria Public Hall, both built during the colonial period, has finally gained some momentum.

While a lot of work is yet to be done at Ripon Buildings, around 70 per cent work is complete at the Victoria Public Hall.

Both the buildings are considered to be a throwback to the early days of western architecture in India and a total of about `9 crore will be spent for the restoration of the Indo-Saracaenic structures.

The project had got delayed many times since the previous DMK regime had mooted the renovation programme.

In fact, former mayor Mr M. Subramanian had inspected the Victoria Public Hall at least half a dozen times hoping that the Hall could be thrown open to the public during DMK’s rule; while that never materialised, it is now the turn of AIADMK-led mayor Mr Saidai Duraisamy to carry the work forward.

Mr Duraisamy is also keen on the restoration of both these buildings.

The Ripon Building, built in 1913, is nearing its centenary and would be ready by next year and the Victoria Public Hall is all set to be thrown open to the public by the end of this year. Both these buildings serve as classic examples of natural ventilation and lighting.

According to corporation sources, the project include restoration of roof and the clock tower, strengthening of pillars and ceiling, replacement of wooden structures and flooring in the heritage buildings.

Wood works in the VP hall has almost reached its final stage and quality teak wood from Thoothukudi is being used to replace the stairs and girders.

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