Finally the historic Town Hall in Shimla will return to its Gothic glory and people will be able to saunter on cobblestones on the famous Mall Road. The Town Hall building and the Mall Road are to get a facelift as Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved Rs.19 crore loan. Rs.14 crore of these will be spent on the Town Hall and Rs.5 crore on beautifying the Mall Road and creating leisure plazas.
Officials of department of tourism confirmed the development and said that the building will be restored and conserved aesthetically, keeping in mind its original Gothic style architecture, within two years. The official added that the exteriors and interiors of the building, built in the half-timbered Tudor style – all wooden frames and shingled eaves -would undergo massive restoration work.
Town Hall was built in 1908 with stone and timber and currently houses the Shimla Municipal Corporation. To start the restoration work as early as possible, it has been decided to move the municipal corporation out of the Town Hall building.
It is learned that restoration will not tamper with the actual design and structure. Slates will be use for roofing, glazing work inside the complex and ornamental stonework on the outer walls would be done as per the original pattern. In the new structure cement wont be used and it will be replaced by the lime mortar.
As for the Mall Road, it is set for a facelift with the asphalt road surface being replaced with European-style cobblestone patterns. Authority have set two years of time for the final restoration and hope it will get in time and wont repeated the woeful tale of Gaiety Theatre, which took six long years to get final shape