Saturday, March 27, 2010

Street REwinding

REwind time, well maybe?, walking through these streets in Bandra just gives you the right amount of taste of how things were at one point. so the other day (11.03.2010) it was St. Andrews Church-St.Pauls road-Chimbai village road-a little of Turner road-Perry Cross Road-Carter road. whoooo

the route taken by me

looking at these streets and walking around just gives a good glimpse of how the space has changed from the 1920's, 30's, 40's, 50's with the Art Deco style in demand, 60's, 70's when the reclamation happened and the mass housing systems were put in place to today wen there is something from all the periods!

After a not so quick walk through the St. Andrew's church, mainly looking for the oldest cross in Bandra, which i got to know has been installed in the St. Andrew's Church. It is relocated on the church compound. Stands 17ft high and made of a single stone. It  was  orignally in the jesuit seminary of St. Anne built in 1610.  The building was  destroyed in 1739 and the cross was relocated to the Andrews church. The  surface is carved all over with 39  emblems of the passion of Christ. i finally did locate it, and i thought it would be re installed with much more celebration, but to my disappointment it was just there in one corner with not much attention paid to it. As a first encounter the church seemed to be facing to sides of the urban expanse in that area. One that it marked the end of Hill road, one of the busiest roads in Bandra and on the other side the bandstand promenade, opposite to which on the other side is the Chimbai village road. All three with a different character a different urban texture attached to it. While these thoughts wandered in my mind and i moved around the 1574 building that still stands in its complete modesty as shrine not only to the Christians but to a lot of other communities. The feeling of walking through the various grave stones was quite strange along with it being over whelming at the same time. The dates on the stones range from before 1800 untill today, which also proves the series of generations that have spent their lives in this suburb.
The oldest cross in Bandra, relocated in the compounds of the St. Andrew's Church.

What caught my attention was the massive Ferns Mansion, a graded heritage building by the MMRDA, and its condition today. Also famous as the Yacht Restaurant around the vicinity, this building is a classic example of a colonial vernacular architecture. As it pretty much seemed to be in a dilapidated state, a thought of converting it into a community based art gallery was what struck my mind first. It could be an artist in residency, and many more things because the space just seems perfect.

the Ferns Mansion right opposite St. Andrews Church.

After sooooo many thought pouring in and out i started walking on the St. Pauls Road. At the first glance the cleanliness of the place stunned me, and the green patch which served as a must for every housing colony, cottage or a mere small store around the place, ran through all the foot path. These roads inclusive of the Perry cross road and much of the Carter road has a good mix of Colonial and Portuguese vernacular architecture along with a good quantity of Art deco bungalows which were the flavor of the 1930's and 1940's all around Mumbai. some images of these streets and the houses.


These are various examples of the styles of architecture mentioned above.

A lot more  to talk, seems like i will have to wait till the next post, this one seems to be quite long for one more soon!


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  2. Hey Sheth,

    I don't know much about this place... Heard it has been referred to as little Goa though. Looking at these pictures, i can see why. There is an area in Panjim Goa that looks exactly like this. With winding paved roads that can never fit a car. This part of Goa however has achieved a kind of exclusivity that hopefully will protect it from a disastrous fate. They even have a festival that takes place here, that promotes the space.

    Good luck with the project. Am tthinking of all the interventions possible through this project.

  3. Dear Andrea,
    would love to know more about this..any links, pics???
    thanks for the wishes.!
    its great to know that through this process and project i ve got a lot of people thinking!
    the virus is spreading it seems!
    would love to hear more!


  4. the houses look lovely!
    And Shetu, you must do some historian-ish work in your life. Your attention to facts and figures will really help there! Good work!