Heritage hotel, museum side by side in Town Hall restoration plan: Civic agency

Dd

The 147-year-old Town Hall could house a heritage hotel and a museum, officials of the North Municipal Corporation said.

The civic agency has decided to go for an integrated restoration plan for the Victorian-style historical building and its sprawling lawn, where facilities would be there for sound and light shows to showcase the structure's history.

"We are preparing a fresh report on the restoration plan of Town Hall. It has been decided that one wing of the building will house a museum and the other a heritage hotel," North Corporation's Commissioner P K Gupta said.

Sources said a committee would consult historians and cultural experts. "The restoration plan will be executed with minimal changes to the historical structure," the commissioner said.

The restoration plan of Town Hall spread over 16 acres in Chandni Chowk has been hanging fire for the past four years, with several agencies furnishing their suggestions.

ITDC wanted to take over the place in 2008 and transform it into a hotel. Two years later, the erstwhile MCD suggested that its former headquarters should be turned into a museum to display artefacts and pictures of the meetings and events held there.

North Corporation considered the suggestions and decided to have both. Sources said the heritage hotel would be leased out to a private company.

"The lawn at Town Hall will also be restored to reflect the building's heritage," an official said. Ornate poles bearing historical citations would also be put on the lawn.

The British built Town Hall in 1865 and called it Lawrence Institute of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Later, it was converted into civic headquarters of Delhi.

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