Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Olden view

This building appears to be deserted these days. Even less than ten years ago, it wasn't. There were people living on the first floor, and the ground floor was the office of Garment Cleaners. Yes, that one with the logo of a boy smashing some kind of small cloth on a box, that one.Today, you can make out a very faint outline of that logo on the left of the building, just after that last arch on the ground floor and the sign saying "Showroom" on the right. 

"Marine View", as it was named, must have commanded a magnificent view of the Bay of Bengal from the western side of Santhome High Road when it was built in 1929. But the man who had it built, O. Thanikachalam Chetty, was most probably never a resident here. We see him in 1928, 53 years old and having recently been conferred the title of Diwan Bahadur. That title was an acknowledgement of his life as a public figure, a close confident of Pittie Thyagaraya Chetty, a member of various Boards and Trusts, including the Pachiyappa Trust, and for his service as a Councillor of the Corporation of Madras, of which he had also been the President. But by 1928, his health infirm, Thanikachalam Chetty had moved from Waverley House in Egmore, to a bungalow in Osborne Road, Bangalore Cantt. He appears to have lived there until he passed away on July 21, 1929. 

This house was inherited by one of his sons, and his descendants continued to live here, occupying the first floor, while the ground floor was rented out. And it wasn't always to a laundry business. There was glamour here: Raja Sulochana, the famous actress was a tenant here - that must have been sometime during the 1950s. In the 1970s, this address found the city police commissioner KR Shenoy staying here as a tenant. Now looking all deserted, this will probably succumb to a developer's hammer sooner than later!


Stefan Jansson said...

Interesting story about the now abandoned building.

Shantaram said...

Thanks. There are far too many such in the city :(