CHENNAI: The historical Victoria Hall, the British era-building sandwiched between Ripon Building and Central railway station, is all set to become a popular hangout spot for families and art admirers as the Greater Chennai Corporation has prepared a plan to create food courts around the structure and allow arts exhibitions.
According to a Corporation official, a detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared by architects and consultants to restore the building. “As per the plan, food courts will be present around the structure where families can hang out. A museum will also be set up and its concept will be based on the city’s history and culture. While the Chennai museum will be permanent on the ground floor, themes will keep changing so more people can frequent the place,” the official said.
The civic body will also allow artists and exhibitors to hold exhibitions on a rental basis. Embassies will also be encouraged to exhibit their history and culture at the museum. The second floor will be converted into mini hall in which meetings will be allowed. The plan is to conserve the building as well as earn revenue. The State Tourism Department has agreed to provide Rs 40 crore for the restoration.
The civic body had earlier planned to renovate the Victoria Hall and had floated tenders. But the project hit a roadblock owing to non-availability of skilled labourers who are trained in renovating heritage structures. Studies were conducted along with experts from Anna University and IIT-Madras to assess the damages.
Chennai Corporation has already encased Victoria Hall with the Ripon Building.