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Heritage pride for masses, one for every month of 2012

Vintage value is wooing mass appeal.

The campaign to preserve heritage buildings in Jamshedpur is picking up with a calendar release on April 23 at Beldih Club, Bistupur.

This is the second edition of the heritage calendar in 2012, but the first mass-scale publication with 100 copies.

The first edition was a niche effort by Rotarian Ronald D’Costa, also a hotelier. A Loyola School alumnus, he had taken three of the calendars as gifts to the US Loyola Alumni Association and left three here with his alma mater.

The right people noticed the unique six-page calendars and got sold on the idea.

In March, The Telegraph published a three-series report on the effort to make Jamshedpur aware of the historical importance of city buildings before and around the time of World War II — Modi House, Regal Mansion, St George Church, Beldih Church, United Club, Sacred Heart Convent School and National Metallurgical Laboratory to name some — and their distinctive architectural styles.

As the buzz grew, so did the movement.

Now, 12 heritage buildings will be featured in the calendar priced at Rs 150 per copy. Based on demand, more copies will be printed.

The latest addition to the heritage list is the main building of Jamshedpur Engineering and Machine Manufacturing Company (Jemco), a division of Indian Steel and Wire Products Limited (a Tata Steel subsidiary) near Telco township, 5km from Tatanagar.

The 1934 building is a single-storey fusion of Indian and Austrian styles. European Gothic seems to be the mood, with symmetrical, wide bay windows spanning the elevation and blind arcades.

Rotarian Ronald D’Costa, hotelier and lead campaigner for the conservation of heritage buildings, said that Jemco managing director P.C. Srivastava had assured him that steps would be taken to protect the distinctive architecture.

“We have included the Jemco building in the new calendar edition priced at Rs 150 per copy. It has 12 pictures for an equal number of months,” said D’Costa.

Annotations such as the date of each building as well as its architectural style are included with each picture.

On the anvil is a brochure of city buildings, to be distributed at important events and also to corporate houses. The brochure will classify heritage structures into two — individually owned bungalows and public buildings such as churches, clubs and institutions of learning.

The Modi House in Circuit House Area was built in 1941 with a typical Art Deco architecture specific to World War II. Regal Mansion, a landmark of Bistupur, came up in 1939 with its Gothic architecture.

Public buildings of distinctive architectural value include Tata Institute of 1913, which later became United Club, with visible Gothic architecture shades, St George’s Church built in 1916, influenced by the Anglicans, as well as Beldih Church in 1923 in neo-modern style.

Later buildings such as National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML) at Burmamines and Sacred Heart Convent in Northern Town, Bistupur, show influences of modern Art Deco (post World War II). Rows of Kaiser Bungalows in Circuit House Area were influenced by the American prairie style popularised by architect Frank Lloyd.


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