Western Railway Commemorates 125 Years Of Churchgate Heritage Structure With Month-Long Celebration Starting On January 2

Western Railway Commemorates 125 Years Of Churchgate Heritage Structure With Month-Long Celebration Starting On January 2

The month-long celebration is set to commence with a Light & Sound Show, with final trials conducted on Monday.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Tuesday, January 02, 2024, 01:03 AM IST
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Picture of the final trials of the Light & Sound Show on the heritage structure conducted by WR on Monday. |

The Western Railway is gearing up to celebrate the completion of 125 years of its iconic Churchgate heritage structure, a significant milestone in Mumbai's architectural history. The month-long celebration is set to commence with a Light & Sound Show, with final trials conducted on Monday.

First of a kind celebration organised

A senior official of Western Railway highlighted that this celebration is a first of its kind for the Western Railway, not only honouring the physical structure but also encapsulating the spirit, culture, and evolution of the railway. The celebration invites everyone to be part of this historic milestone.

The journey of the Churchgate building dates back to May 1894 when construction began, reaching completion in January 1899. Mr. Gomez and students from the School of Art, under Mr. Greenwood's supervision, contributed intricate embellishments. Contractors Gamjee Balajee & Company and Jagooji Hanmantrao & Company played vital roles in the foundation and superstructure, respectively. Sorabji Warden & Company added their touch with colored Maw’s tiles, marble, and stained glass, ensuring impeccable execution of drainage, water supply, and fittings. The total cost of Rs 7,50,000 matched the initial estimate.

Genesis of the Churchgate structure

The genesis of the Churchgate structure can be traced back to 1883 when the Agent (now known as general manager) to BB&CI railway proposed an initial budget of Rs 3 lakh for an impressive building. In 1889, the BB&CI company secured a plot, selecting renowned architect Frederick William Stevens for the design. Inspired by Stevens' Sailor’s Home, the initial brief aimed for a similarly successful yet modest design.

The celebratory month promises a rich array of events, including a Light & Sound Show on the heritage structure's façade with the theme 'Virasat Ke Raang,' a film on the journey of Western Railway from 1855 onwards, a cultural program with the theme “Atit Ke Jaronke Se,” a Heritage Walk/Tour of Headquarters building showcasing its architectural beauty, an exhibition at Headquarters and Division on 125 years of WR’s Headquarters Building, the release of a Coffee Table Book on Western Railway Headquarters Building & History, a drawing competition on WR’s Headquarters Building, Railways, and a quiz competition. Additionally, Nukkad Natak performances will take place at stations.

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