Ripon building will stand tall by year-end

CHENNAI: Although restoration works at the historic Ripon Building, fondly known as White House, has missed its revised deadline, it is progressing in full swing. According to official s
Ripon building will stand tall by year-end

CHENNAI: Although restoration works at the historic Ripon Building, fondly known as White House, has missed its revised deadline, it is progressing in full swing.

According to official sources, the restoration of Ripon Building is progressing well and would be completed by the end of 2012.

Standing majestically on the Poonamallee High Road as a seat of the Chennai Corporation for decades, the architectural splendour was built by Loganatha Mudaliar between 1909 and 1913. Earl of Minto, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India, laid the foundation on December 12, 1909.

A mix of Gothic, Ionic, Neo-classical and Corinthian architectural styles, Ripon Building is 252-feet long and 126-feet wide. Its tower is 132-foot tall and features a clock which is eight feet in diameter.

In October 2009, the then Mayor of the Chennai Corporation M Subramanian launched the restoration work after getting grants of `8 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme.

Though Subramanian had then fixed an 18-month deadline (April 2011) for completion of the restoration, it missed the deadline as the work moved at  snail’s space.

However, Subramanian took special interest in the restoration of the historic structure. The Corporation authorities then formed a three-member panel to monitor the progress of the project.

After repeated delays in meeting the deadline in the past, officials now say that the restoration of historic structure is progressing well and will be completed by December this year.

Ripon Building will celebrate its centenary year in 2013 and the Chennai Corporation is expected to host a variety of programmes to mark the feat.

The statue of Lord Ripon, Viceroy (1880 to 1884)  after whom the building has been named, stands at the entrance. Ripon Building was built at a cost of `7.5 lakh.

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