Scope and Contents
240x158mm. View from the lawn looking towards the old residence of the Lieutenant-Governors of Bengal. A wide flight of steps leads up the N. entrance in the main block, a two storey affair decorated with Ionic columns on the ground floor and Corinthian on the first. The building is lavishly decorated in its details, with statues and coats of arms along the roofline, and pediments and scrolls above the windows picked out in different colours from the main body. The disorganised cluster of buildings around the main block reflects the piecemeal growth of the house. The original date of construction of this country house south of Calcutta is not precisely known (perhaps c.1700), but it was purchased by Warren Hastings as an official residence in 1774. It later became the Government House of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal and later still was retained as a residence for the Viceroy during his annual visit to Calcutta. After Independence it became the National Library. For a view of the building in the 1870s, which gives a good indication of how radically the house was altered, see Y3022G/82. Photographer unknown, probably Johnston and Hoffmann.
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