The iconic David Sassoon Library and Reading Room restored; See pics

By: FPJ Web Desk | June 03, 2023

The iconic David Sassoon Library and Reading Room at the art district of Kala Ghoda in Mumbai has been restored. Here are some photos of the restored one and a half century year old structure.

Nearly 30,000 books in five languages, namely, English, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi and Kannada, have been restored.

The Library is located near Elphinstone College, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Jehangir Art Gallery, Army and Navy Building, and Esplanade Mansion.

The restoration project was carried out by the JSW Foundation and the ICICI Foundation.

The Venetian Gothic-styled structure in Fort was built in memory of Baghdadi-Jewish merchant and philanthropist David Sassoon.

It is a Grade-1 heritage structure built in 1867. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sangita Jindal, Chairperson of JSW Foundation in collaboration with conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah; is behind the restoration.

The library is now open after 16 months of restoration works.

The restoration covered architectural and interior design of the David Sassoon Library including rehousing of the library’s collection of books, rebuilding its original sloping roof, restoration of the façade and interior spaces.

The library boasts of collections of oldest books on architecture and design. These books have now been accommodated in large bookshelves on the first floor of the reading room.

There are period bookshelves which are among the first pieces of furniture commissioned for the building in 1870.

The library’s original bookshelf design has been maintained keeping in mind the structural stability and integrity of the 156 years old Grade I Heritage building.