Dating Back To 1910, Esplanade Mansions On Esplanade, Where Kolkatans Love To Shop, Is A Preserved Slice Of History

by Mallika Khurana
Dating Back To 1910, Esplanade Mansions On Esplanade, Where Kolkatans Love To Shop, Is A Preserved Slice Of History

Esplanade Mansions, the exquisite building in Kolkata, India, is an attraction for historians. It is situated across from the Raj Bhavan at the intersection of Marx Engels Beethi Road and Esplanade Row. The magnificent structure was constructed and possessed by David Elias Ezra in 1910. The most striking feature of the mansions is known to be their representation of Art Nouveau elements. 

The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) acquired ownership of Esplanade Mansions. Today,  many government office like railroad, and other corporate offices are housed in this historical piece of work.

Art Nouveau Designs In Kolkata

Esplanade mansions
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Esplanade Mansions are located at the heart of the city of joy. A surreal representation of Nouveau art designs, this building is one of its kind in every way. Yes, it is the same Esplanade where scores of people head to for their shopping needs. 

There is only one Art Nouveau building in the entire city. A combination of Edwardian and Art Nouveau designs can be seen in the corner tower and cupola. Esplanade Mansions also feature circular balconies in addition to arched windows. The residence is made up of 24 apartments. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation recognises this unique building as a Grade-1 historic structure.

The Present Scenario Of Esplanade Mansions

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which owns about 30 properties in Esplanade, is a major landowner. The Esplanade Mansions are unquestionably one of them. Additionally, it has two offices on the ground floor, one for the Railway Claims Tribunal on the Curzon Parkside and the other for the Eastern Railways Chief Public Relations Officer on the Raj Bhavan side. Construction on the structure was decided upon by LIC in 2003. Lilac was replaced with white at a cost of ₹11 lakh, which is equal to34 lakh or $43,000 in 2020.

The structure, with integrity that dates back to 1910, has an appeal that is not lost on the world today.

While Kolkatans who regularly pass or shop at Esplanade might overlook the beauty of the building and its rich history, next time around do stop by and admire it. The City of Joy surely is holding on tight to pieces of history preserved perfectly and passed on to the generations for them to immerse themselves in its glory. And, certainly, Esplanade Mansions is one of them.

Let us know in the comments section below if the charm of Esplanade Mansions captivates you or not. And, next time when shopping there for budget finds do click a picture and share with us.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons