Mumbai’s Lincoln House: Its Historic Significance, The Status Of Poonawalla’s ₹750 Crore Deal & More

by Shreya Rathod
Mumbai’s Lincoln House: Its Historic Significance, The Status Of Poonawalla’s ₹750 Crore Deal & More

We are aware of the colonial heritage of Mumbai city — and the proof of this is the wonderful heritage buildings that we can see across the city. The Municipal Corporation Building, David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, etc are some of them. And among these names is the Lincoln House — once served as the Consulate General of the United States. But, in 2015, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla made a deal with the US Government and bought the bungalow. Here’s everything you need to know about this prestigious architecture and its significance.

Lincoln House Mumbai: One Of The Prestigious Buildings Of Mumbai

lincoln house
Credits: proud malyali nate/ Twitter & Wikimedia

The Lincoln House is a Grade-III listed mansion spread across 50,000 sq feet. Built by British architect Claude Batley, this place was leased to the Government of the United States in 1957. Interestingly, the property was originally built for HH Sir Amarsinhji Banesinhji (Maharaja of Wankaner) and his son Pratapsinhji Jhala.

However, in 1957, for a nominal amount of 18 lakh, the palace was leased on the condition of a ‘lease of perpetuity for 999 years’. Moreover, the mansion served as the Consulate General for the US. Guarded with two tall black gates, the property was built to accommodate around forty people. The entire mansion features an Indo-Saracenic architecture style.

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The Current Status Of The Property Deal

In 2011, the US consulate auctioned the lease rights for the mansion after they decided to relocate. And it was in 2015 when Cyrus Poonawala made a bid and bought the property for ₹750 crores. Being one of the most expensive residential purchases in the country, the Chairman of the Poonawalla Group wanted to turn the property into a family residence in Mumbai.

However, before anything could happen, a legal issue occurred that restricted Poonawalas to stake their claim on it. According to the report by India Express, the land comes under the Defence Ministry’s defence estates department. Moreover, the government claims that the US Consulate had failed to give notice of the sale within the notice period of twenty days. To support the allegation, the Mumbai District Collectorate confirmed the delay in the purchase.

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Now, the Poonawalas are asking for the status of the 2015 deal.

Cover Image Courtesy: proud malyali nate/ Twitter