Tue . 19 Jun 2019

Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai

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The Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai located in South Mumbai in Maharashtra, India is a Grade IIA heritage building ‘V’ shaped as viewed from top opposite to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus an UNESCO World heritage site at the junction of Dadabhai Naoroji Road and Mahapalika Marg It is also known as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation Building, or BMC building for short12

As the name suggests, the building houses the civic body that governs the city of Mumbai, which is now named the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika Marathi: बृहन्मुंबई महानगर पालिका or the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and which has as its motto, "यतो धर्मस्ततो जय" Sanskrit: Yato Dharmastato Jaya or, Where there is Righteousness, there shall be Victory, inscribed on the banner of its Coat of Arms34 It is said to be the largest civic organization in India as well as in Asia: it covers an area of 434 km2 1676 sq mi56


  • 1 History
  • 2 Heritage status and restoration
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References


Winged allegorical figure representing the 'urbs prima in Indis' and the Coat of Arms of Bombay below The main tower of the building

The BMC was created in 1865 and Arthur Crawford was its first Municipal Commissioner The Municipality was initially housed in a modest building at the terminus of Girgaum Road In 1870, it was shifted to a building on the Esplanade, located between Watson Hotel and the Sassoon Mechanics Institute where the present Army & Navy building is situated On December 9, 1884, the foundation stone for the new building of the Bombay Municipal Corporation was laid opposite Victoria Terminus now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, by the then Viceroy, Lord Ripon7

Two designs were considered for the building; one of the Gothic designs done by Frederick William Stevens and the other in the Indo-Saracenic design presented by Robert Fellowes Chisholm The Gothic design was finally selected The building was completed in 1893 The building is known for its 255 ft 777 m tall tower The chief architectural feature is the central dome that rises to a height of 715 m 2346 ft1 The gable has a huge winged allegorical figure representing the 'urbs prima in Indis', the first city of India as it was to be known then The richly molded and paneled Council Chamber has a ceiling of unpolished teak Records also support that at these environs Phansi Talao or Gallows Tank, where public hangings took place, was located789 In the period from 1100 to 1500 AD, the architecture of churches constructed with ornamental arches, with ribs supported by buttresses resulted, in the subsequent idea of the framed structural design with grandeur and monumentality during the renaissance period of 1500–1700 AD, as the distinct style; the Bombay Municipal Corporation building, the Victoria Terminus, the Rajabai tower and the University of Bombay are some examples of this style The old style of dome construction was also revived and became popular; 1750 onwards was considered to be the period of modern architecture10 The Gothic architecture with controlled composition custom–made to the climatic extremes of the city has cusped window arches and elaborately domed corner towers11

At the entrance to the BMC stands an impressive bronze statue of Sir Pherozeshah Mehta that gives a picturesque view of the roads and buildings in front pictured6

Heritage status and restorationedit

Winged Lion, Griffin like sculpture or Gargoyle on the building Sir Pherosha Mehta Statue in front of BMC watching over the roads, Victoria terminus and traffic Conference hall

The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai has categorized the heritage buildings of Mumbai under the guidelines prepared for the purpose According to these guidelines, the Municipal Corporation Building, Bombay has been categorized by the Bombay Municipal Corporation as Grade II A The list of heritage buildings, as categorized on April 24, 2005, under Grade I, Grade II, Grade IIA, Grade III and Precincts are 591 For the Bombay Municipal Corporation Building, the details are elaborated below22 12

157 Grade-IIA Bombay Municipal Corporation MCGM Headquarter - Value Classification - Ahis, Isce, Cseh Aarch, Bper, Bdes, F

Grade-II A&B is defined as:12

Buildings, of regional or local importance, possessing special architectural or aesthetical merit, cultural or historical value, though of a lower scale than in Heritage Grade They are local landmarks, contributing to the image and identity of the City

As per the defined “Scope for Changes Grade-IIA”, the restorations permitted are:12

Internal changes, and adaptive reuse will be generally allowed, but external changes will be subject to scrutiny Care would be taken to ensure the conservation of all special aspects for which it is included in Heritage Grade-II

The “Abbreviations of Criteria Classification” used for listing of buildings and conservation areas are:12

a Value for architectural, historical or cultural reasons A
- architectural Aarc
- historical Ahis
- cultural Acul
b The date and / or period and / or design and / or unique use of the buildings or artefact B
- period Bper
- design Bdes
- use Buu
c Relevance to social or economic history C seh
d Association with well-known persons or events D bio
e A building or groups of buildings and / or areas, of a distinct architectural design and / or style, historic period or way of life having sociological interest and / or community value E
- Style
- Historical
f The unique value of a building or architectural features or artifact and / or being part of a chain of architectural development that would be broken if it were lost F
g Its value as a part of a group of buildings G grp
h Representing forms of technological development H tec
i Vistas of natural / scenic beauty or interest, including water–front areas, distinctive and / or planned lines of sight, street line, skyline or topographical I sce j Open spaces sometimes integrally planned with their associated areas having a distinctive way of life and for which are and have the potential to be areas of recreation J

Intricate carving on the arches of the BMC building depicting a Monkey

In keeping with the above categorization, the restoration works of the Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai was planned by a panel of three conservation architects, namely, Abha Narain Lambah, Shashi Prabhu and Shimul Zaveri Kadri The restoration plan for the 125-year-old BMC Gothic structure envisages a restoration of interiors and the exterior – from the roof tiles to the exquisite Minton tiles inside and to stained glass work and b strengthening several wooden beams12 In the first phase the structure would be restored to its original glory involving replacement of broken tiles, repair of statues,and removal of plants and moss12

The subsequent phases of restoration would involve a reorganization of office space within the building to improve the operational efficiency of staff members, b 'Citizens Facilitation Centre' and party offices in the ground floor and c Corporation Hall to be modified for a larger seating arrangement by including outer corridors and opening the wooden doors to increase its seating capacity from 200 to 30012

Estimated to cost Rs 80 crore US$16 million, at current exchange rate, approved by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee and the civic administration, it is the largest and most comprehensive conservation concept undertaken in the city, without disturbing the routine work of the civic affairs and administration of the BMC12

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai MCGM, as the primary agency responsible for urban governance, has also signed an MOU with NGO Council to work closely with NGOs in the fields of education, public health, creation of urban amenities, art and culture and heritage conservation13

See alsoedit

  • Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
  • Coat of arms of Mumbai
  • Administrative divisions of Mumbai
  • Mayor of Mumbai
  • Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai
  • Sheriff of Mumbai


  1. ^ a b "The Municipal Corporation Building" Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  2. ^ a b c "Heritage Conservation in Mumbai" PDF Retrieved 2009-03-27 dead link
  3. ^ "the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai" Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  4. ^ "Coat of Arms of the City of Mumbai" Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  5. ^ "Bombay Municipal Corporation" Archived from the original on 2007-08-12 Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  6. ^ a b "Landmarks in and around Colaba" Archived from the original on 2011-07-14 Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  7. ^ a b "The Bombay Municipal Corporation, Bombay c 1880" Retrieved 2009-03-27 dead link
  8. ^ "Mumbaimunicipalcorporationbuilding" Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  9. ^ "Mumbai City travel Guide" Retrieved 2009-03-27 permanent dead link
  10. ^ MGShah; C M Kale; S Y Patki 2002 Building Drawing with an Integrated approach to Built Environment Tata Macgraw-hill ISBN 9780074638767 Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  11. ^ "Heritage Buildings" Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Shweta Desai 2008-01-06 "125-year-old BMC building set to regain old glory" Archived from the original on 2012-09-23 Retrieved 2009-03-27 
  13. ^ "Memorandum of Understanding Between Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai MCGM & NGO Council" 2005-12-12 Retrieved 2009-03-27 permanent dead link

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