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Built in 1920 and earlier known as The Clem Browne Institute, this was one of Calcutta’s famous addresses to host social, cultural events and parties by the Britishers, Jews, Anglo-Indians and the upper crust of the then Indian society

Have you visited the Dr BC Roy Institute at Sealdah recently? One step inside the renovated institute and you would notice the dome on the first floor, which has got an artistic makeover with the roof resembling a work of classical art.

The major renovation of the Dr B C Roy Institute by Eastern Railway, formerly known as The Clem Browne Institute, has revived the spirit of its past architectural splendour and heritage.

The Clem Browne Institute was built in 1920 and became one of Calcutta’s famous addresses for hosting social and cultural events and parties by the Britishers, Jews, Anglo-Indians and the upper crust of the then Indian society. The Eastern Railway has been letting out the premises of Dr B C Roy Institute for social activities.

“The institute has become a much sought-after venue to host cultural and social events. Eastern Railway has already hosted many cultural and official events and seminars at the newly-renovated institute including the 65th and 66th Railway Week General Manager Awards function, Zonal Railway Week, SPAD Seminar and other events” said Sheelendra Pratap Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Sealdah Division, Eastern Railway.

The renovation work was completed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The imposing red-brick building, while retaining its original exterior, now has interiors done up aesthetically that reflects the spirit of the Italian Renaissance artwork found in the domes and basilicas of Rome.

The interior designing, facades, fascia with roof-art, has been conceptualized by Lokenath Engineering, a Kolkata-based art designing and fabrication firm.

“In the pre-Independence days, The Clem Browne Institute was a famous address in Calcutta for hosting social and cultural events, parties, weddings and ceremonies. The striking new look of the building’s interiors has brought back that nostalgic feeling of Kolkata’s rich and varied cultural legacy,” said Sujit Sangam Priyadarshi, ADRM(I), Sealdah Division, Eastern Railway.

“At a time when Kolkata is losing much of its past architectural splendours, the renovation of Dr BC Roy Institute is a welcome step taken by Eastern Railway. It provides a rear-view mirror to a time when Calcutta social life was at its prime,” said Upendra Kumar Pandey, ADRM (O), Sealdah Division, Eastern Railway.

The high point of the renovation at the Dr BC Roy Institute is the dome on the first floor which has got an artistic facelift with the roof resembling a work of classical art. The artistic concepts executed through fibreglass has been done by Lokenath Engineering, which had last year completed a 110-feet long relief work at the Metro Rail Bhavan in Kolkata to commemorate 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s anniversary and the spirit of Kolkata.

“After factoring in the different local and weather conditions and also the cultural and artistic aspects of the building, we decided to work on fibreglass-based artwork to keep the cost of maintenance low and ensure durability,” said Subrata Ganguly of Lokenath Engineering.

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The Optimist

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