5 Heritage Sites That Tower Over Mumbai's High-Rises
Mumbai's growth as a city over three centuries of its history has been phenomenal. While the city is counted among the greatest metropolitans of the world, Mumbai's real estate is also far more expensive than its global peers'. While there is an old city where several government offices operate out of heritage buildings, there also are skyscrapers dotting the urban space – Mumbai is truly a city where the old and the new survive and thrive together; the city's true character lies in its contradictions.
However, the architectural history of the Maximum City would never be complete without listing its age-old buildings that stand tall in the city landscape, even as new high-rises keep coming up across the city. Classified as Grade-I, Grade-II A & B and Grade-III, these heritage structures fall under the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. Most of these heritage structures that stand in the city today were built in the British period and display the Victorian Neo-Gothic, the Indo-Saracenic and Neo-classical architectural styles.
MakaanIQ lists five heritage sites that define the architectural character of Mumbai.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station
A Unesco World heritage site, the railways station complex that serves as the headquarters of the city's central railway was previously known as Victoria Terminus. One of the busiest railway stations in India, the structure was designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens, mixing the Victorian-Gothic and the Mughal architectural styles. Built in 1887, the station site is captured in several Bollywood and Hollywood movies.
The Royal Bombay Yacht Club
Founded in 1846 – it was only in 1880 that a site was obtained from the Bombay Port Trust on lease to build it – the Royal Bombay Yacht Club is the oldest such club in Asia. Besides providing extensive sailing facilities, the heritage building overlooking the Bombay Harbour offers a magnificent view of the Gateway of India, another heritage building. “There is a treasure trove of invaluable yachting memorabilia and a storied celebration under every awning of the Club's premises,” says the club's website. For today's high and mighty, a membership of this age-old club is seen as a stamp on their cool quotient.
The Gateway of India
The 26-metre-high structure overlooking the Arabian Sea is a perfect example of a sturdy structure that has stood the test of time. The site has withstood three terror attacks. Used by the fishing community until it was renovated for use as a landing place for British officials, the Gateway of Mumbai was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet by combining architectural styles of Roman triumphal arch and the 16th-century architecture of Gujarat. Counted as Mumbai's top tourist attraction, the Gateway of India was built in 1924.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Building
Overlooking the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) building is a Grade-II (A) heritage site. The Mumbai civic authority operates out of here. In 1884, Lord Ripon, the then Viceroy of India, laid the foundation stone of the building, designed by Frederick William Stevens, applying the Gothic revival architectural style.
The Crawford Market
The market has a new name now; it's called Jyotiba Phule Marg commercial market. Built in 1868 by Arthur Crawford, Mumbai's first municipal commissioner, this market, famous for fruit, food items, cosmetic items and pets, was design by William Emerson. The building's structure follows a Norman and Flemish architecture style. Recently, conservation artist Abha Narain Lambah completed the renovation of the old shops in this market.