[Illustration: Old view of Bank of Bengal Johnston & Hoffmann]
[Illustration: Photo. by Bourne & Shepherd Present view of Bank of Bengal]
Of all the vast and dramatic changes that have taken place in Calcutta since I first saw it, I think the most striking and outstanding are to be seen in Clive Street and its environs. Looking back and contrasting the past with the present, it all seems so startling and wonderful as to suggest the idea that some genii or magician had descended upon the city and with a touch of his magic wand converted a very ordinary looking street, containing many mean, dilapidated looking dwellings, into a veritable avenue of palaces, and for ever sweeping away blots and eyesores which had existed almost from time immemorial. This transformation more or less applies to Clive Row, the whole of the south side of Clive Ghaut Street stretching round the corner into the south of the Strand, part of the northern portion, Royal Exchange Place, Fairlie Place, the west and south side of Dalhousie Square, and a goodly portion to the east.
Occupying as it does the whole of the north side of Dalhousie Square has been changed and altered out of all knowledge and recognition. It was formerly, before Government took it over, a plain white stuccoed building utterly devoid of any pretensions to architectural beauty, and depending mainly for any chance claim to recognition on its immense length. Its blank, straight up and down appearance was barely relieved by several white pillars standing out rather prominently