Krumbiegel hall, historic building inside Lalbagh, razed

Krumbiegel hall, historic building inside Lalbagh, razed

Krumbiegel hall, historic building inside Lalbagh, razed

The much revered Krumbiegel lecture hall in Lalbagh gardens has been razed to the ground on Thursday.

Authorities, who brought down the lecture hall despite marking it for a facelift, said the structure was beyond repair after a part of it collapsed in recent rains, while heritage lovers accused them of neglect.

"We asked experts if the hall could be restored after a portion of it collapsed in the heavy rains last month," Lalbagh's Deputy Director Chandrashekar M R said, adding that the building could have been restored if it had not collapsed.

Krumbiegel hall, where the legendary Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel held numerous discussions on botany and garden designing, featured in the list of sites the Horticulture Department wanted to renovate in Lalbagh at a cost of Rs 29.2 crore.

The four gates, the glass house, the centenary fountain and aquarium are the other structure inside Lalbagh marked for a facelift.

The expert committee constituted to review if the 60-year-old hall was fit for restoration, ruled that the building could indeed be restored.

President of Lalbagh Walkers' Association Sadhshiva Reddy said he was not aware of the issue since he was away, but member of the association and environmentalist Dr AN Yellappa Reddy said experts had no choice but to raze the building since part of it had collapsed.

"Earlier, they were looking at restoring the hall," Dr Reddy added.

However, a few city residents took to Twitter to vent their anger on the loss of the heritage structure.

"This is nothing but murder of heritage. Recently I read a piece by Krumbiegel's great grand daughter appealing to save this heritage building, but clearly none in that Vidhana and Vikasa Soudha had heard her cry," said Leo Saldhana.

Reports quoted Krumbiegel's great granddaughter Alyia Phelps Gardiner Krumbiegel as saying that the lecture hall was the place where the legendary botanist had designed plans for several gardens. This includes Rajghar memorial garden in Delhi, which Krumbiegel designed at the ripe old age of 90.

Besides the heritage building, authorities also demolished an old government school near Siddapura gate.