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Gillander House Esplanade Mansion
Graham Building - Heritage Commercial Buildrings
1487    Dibyendu Banerjee    05/03/2020

Standing on the left of Gillander House and in the middle of the road, where NS Road bifurcates and the right turn continues to run as Clive Row, the massive Graham Building with its curved façade, like its neighbouring Gillander House, is the only building on NS Road, which faces the south.


Basically, the city of Calcutta started to grow around the Tank Square or Dalhousie Square and almost all the buildings in the area are tagged as Heritage buildings, constructed during the British rule in the country. However, while most of the Government buildings are properly or partially maintained or renovated, the condition of some other buildings, like the massive buildings of the Oriental Assurance Company, Chartered Bank, Mercantile Building, is pathetic and needs immediate attention. In fact, those buildings are still occupied by the old tenants and the revenue generated by any such building is so negligible that even paying the government taxes is a big burden for the owners, leave alone the question of the proper maintenance of the dilapidated huge buildings. As they cannot be demolished due the heritage tag, they still survive hopelessly as a mute witness of their glorious past and wait for the inevitable collapses or to be devoured by a devastating fire.

Graham Building

Unfortunately, the huge Graham Building belongs to the second category. The unusual façade of the building, made of both stone and brick, is now invaded by strong roots of unwanted vegetations. In addition to that, different companies occupying the building have placed their modern signs at random, covering up the pediment above the ground floor entrance. The arched windows with shuttered panes look awesome, while several windows are brutally boarded up to accommodate the Air condition machines. Even, the pavement around the building is not spared, which is occupied by the temporary stalls.


It is considered by many that, Graham Building was named after the Graham & Company, possibly a Scottish firm, who worked as agents for a large number of shipping lines and insurance companies. It is also estimated that, the Graham Building originally housed the Calcutta branch of the company.

On their arrival at the city of Calcutta, the company first occupied a building on Old Court House Lane and subsequently shifted to 9 Clive Street, which was subsequently pulled down to give place for the present premises. As the building was much larger than its need, the major portion of the building was rented out to other companies.


However, the details about the design, architecture and history of the building, is unknown.

Graham Building
Gillander House Esplanade Mansion
Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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