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Ripon Building

Ripon Building One of the most beautiful of the more modern British constructions in Madras is Ripon Building, home of the Madras Corporation. This splendid domed vision in white, built in 1913, is part of a large municipal complex that includes parks and gardens, Nehru Stadium, Victoria Public Hall, a public meeting place out of the gaslight era, and Moore market, a fascinating shopper's paradise. West of Central Station is Ripon Building, the dazzling white headquarters of the Corporation of Chennai. One of the few public buildings in Chennai that time has not managed to ravage.

The Magnificent Building

Named after Lord Ripon, the Father of local self-government, the foundation for the magnificent building was laid by Sir Gilbert John Elliot Murray Kynyn Mound Bart and Carl of Minto, then Viceroy and Governor General of India on December 12, 1909.
The Municipal Corporation of Madras, after functioning from several other places, settled at Ripon building in 1913, with P.L.Moore as the President of the Municipal Corporation at the time of the inauguration.
This classic structure with a floor area of 9,628 square metres was built at a cost of only Rs.7.30 lakhs. It is a combination of three types of architectural styles - Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian. Four engineers at various points of time were involved in the construction of this beautiful building - C.L.T.Griffith (1909), J.E.Hensman (1910-1911), E.P.Richard (1912) and James R.Coats (1913).

To support the gargantuan structure, the walls were constructed with stock bricks, set in lime mortar and plastered with lime mortar. The roofs are supported with Teak wood Joists and on the ground floor, the Cuddapah stone flooring has now been re-laid with marble flooring. The flooring on the first and second floors is of the pressed terracotta variety. The overall depth of foundation including footing is 5.34 metres. The ceiling height on the ground floor is 5.64 metres.

The main attraction of the building is the West Minister Quarter Chiming Clock, installed by Oakes and Co. in 1913, about 20.58 metres from terrace level. The clock is provided with a mechanical key system, which is wound every day. There are a total of 4 bells, which were cast by Gillet and Johnston in 1913.

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