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CONSTRUCTION TYPE AND MATERIALS

The gothic three storeyed structure has load bearing walls of stone masonry set in lime mortar, with tiled roof over wooden trusses and full boarding. The small dome and spires and decorative parapet wall are made of limestone while the terraces above are constructed of lime concrete laid o­n wooden boarding resting o­n wooden joists. The dome and central tower supporting it is made of 2 m thick limestone ashlar masonry construction set in lime mortar.

A archuated system is used for the transfer of floor load to the oundation. As noticed, the size and span of the arches varies with the height, a typical gothic feature. The 'C' shape of the building in plan, though apparently symmetrical, has subtle asymmetric variations in elevations. The divisions of the interiors is cleverly achieved by the structural grid-iron pattern used. A continuous 'Verandah' runs around the floors and the central tower o­n all levels. The load bearing Malad stone walls in the interiors are whitewashed in lime plasters of about 1.5' to 2' thickness.

The gothic character is reflected in intricate carvings mostly o­n limestone arches, capitals, arch infills, although Malad stone carvings are also found at some places in the exterior. Though structural walls are of Malad stone, the alternate endings are lined with white limestone, Kurla Basalt and red sandstone for aesthetic effects. The short-circular columns lining the corridor are of Malad stone made of different parts, positioned using iron dowels. The thicket Star Chambers has long columns cladded with high quality black marble. The staircase floor in the main stair lobby and its skirting ( 1 m high) is also cladded with marble, while the huge cantileverd staircase itself is made of granite. Seasoned teak wood is used for trusses, joists, purlins, rafters, boardings as wells as for door/window joinery. Tiled roof and flat lime concrete terraces o­n wooden beams and boardings form the roof with gargoyles for roof water available. The original flooring would have been of patterned clay tile evidenced by a small area presently.

Originally all glazed openings would have been of stained  glass. Presently stained glass windows at top levels of the dome remain, along with a few windows at Star Chambers. There are four corner wooden staircases as well as five wrought iron staircases.

Stone Many types of stones have been used within the building. The masonry is with yellow Malad stone (The yellow malad stone is often mistaken to a sandstone due to its equigranular texture is in reality an igneous rock. Please refer microscopic examination results for details). For architectural detailing white limestone has been used, and at places a red Agra stone  has been introduced to add contrast. The Malad yellow stone has withstood the weathering rather well. The white limestone has weathered rather badly, especially in places where it is directly exposed, like the cornices, and the pinnacles. The limestone at such places appears porous and brittle. 

Timber Timber used is Burma teak wood. All the structural teak appears to be in good condition, except in few places where it is attacked by wood bores. The timber used in boarding also seems to be in good condition. Most of the timber used in external door and window frames is badly damaged and needs replacement/repairs.

Lime masonry: Lime mortar is used for construction. It appears that sand dust has been added for pozzolonic effect.Cast iron and wrought ironCast iron and wrought iron has been used all over the building .

Stained glassStained glass is used in the Star Chambers and quite extensively in the main dome.  The central stairs and the Star Chambers have been given a choice of rich finishes, which have been retained through the years. The Italian marble dado is intact.  The original Minton tile flooring and dado is found  in few places.  The Star Chambers is the o­nly room to have its original  ceiling finish intact, and in a good condition.  




Source : Central Railway / Indian Railways Portal CMS Team Last Reviewed on: 29-08-2016  


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