RAJ BHAVAN, KOLKATA (INDIA) - BIRD CAGE ELEVATOR - OTIS FIRST ELECTRIC ELEVATOR

Ian Whitby
Partner
Foster + Partners,

Raj Bhavan is located in Kolkata in the state of West Bengal in India. Kolkata also was known as Calcutta city was one of the wealthiest, principal and very classy colonies of India. Raj Bhavan is a government building currently occupied by the respected Governor of West Bengal in India. It was acknowledged as the Government House serving the Viceroys before India won its independence. The first Indian Independence war erupted in 1857 and the British Government in London made Kolkata’s Raj Bhavan as the official residence of the Viceroy of India in 1858 and remained so until the capital of India was changed to Delhi in 1911.

This heritage landmark is a pride of India for the specific reason to house the FIRST EVER ELEVATOR INSTALLED in INDIA in 1892.

Raj Bhavan was built from 1799 to 1803 by Lord Wellesley at a magnificently spread across 27 acres. Raj Bhavan occupies a built-up area of 84,000 square feet. Lord Curzon upgraded the building with electricity and the lift popularly known as the ‘Bird Cage Lift’ to Raj Bhavan in 1892.

This LIFT is OTIS’ first electric lift since its inception.

The admirable structure was iconic, was very intricately detailed, follows art nouveau style and was manually worked using a handle. The lift has been modernized or upgraded only two times in all its 127 years of existence, first in 1969 and next in 2010 with a change in the controller, wiring, and fixtures.

In the name of development, we have witnessed the increased demolition of buildings and malls. Whereas this heritage structure of India, claims of conservation and proudly boasts of its “Birdcage” elevator. The flamboyantly designed “Bird Cage Lift” successfully functions till this day in its original form.

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