Lansdowne Building to regain its original look in one year

Rs three crore will be exclusively spent on restoration works

The century-old Lansdowne Building, also a heritage shoping complex, will regain its original look in one year. A Mumbai-based construction company has commenced restoration works on the 120-year-old structure.

Lansdowne Building, which was constructed in the year 1892 to commemorate the visit of the then Governor General of India Lord Lansdowne to Mysuru, has remained closed due to the collapse of a portion of the roof claiming four lives, on August 12, 2012. Following the mishap, the State government had earmarked Rs 6 crore for the restoration works under its special grant of Rs 100 crore for the conservation of heritage structures in the city.

Of the total amount, Rs 3 crore will be spent on restoration works, while the remaining funds will be used on the drainage system, electricity and civic works. The building was constructed using limestone mortar and superior quality wood and the same quality materials will be used for the restoration works to maintain the originality of the structure. No architecture, including the design of the staircase, will be changed.

Commissioner for Archaeology, Museums and Heritage C G Betsurmath, also commissioner of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), said, the weak portions of the building would be strengthened using technology and no portion of the structure would be demolished. The Indian Heritage City Network (IHCN) will supervise the works. As the repair works have to be taken up with extra care, it takes at least one year for completion of the works, he added. At present, the construction workers are dumping the materials needed for the restoration.

Following the collapse of a part of the structure, two expert committees had submitted their reports on the restoration of the building. A committee comprising C S Vishwanath of Karnataka Quality Task Force and Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) Principal Syed Shakeeb-Ur-Rahaman had recommended demolition of the first floor and retaining of the front portion. Another report was submitted by the IHCN.
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