The Mansions contain twenty-four flats. This, as can be perceived, has entirely changed the whole aspect of this particular section of the city, which has been further enhanced by the erection of Thacker, Spink & Co’s new premises on the site of 1, Chowringhee, or old Mountains Family Hotel, which had been running for many years prior to it being acquired by the late Mr. Matthewson on a long lease of 30 or 40 years at an exceptionally low rental. All the buildings in this row, with the exception of that at the corner of Bentinck Street, have been built in my day, and many people will doubtless recollect that Peliti once occupied the house now in possession of the Trocadero. Turning into Chowringhee we are faced by the Bristol Hotel, formerly known as the Hotel D’Europe, the proprietress of which latter was the late Mrs. Scott of the Park Hotel, Darjeeling, formerly known as Madame Fienberg, and who was highly respected and greatly esteemed by the older generation of Calcuttaites, of whom she had quite a large clientele. She afterwards removed to the Hotel de Paris, and finally to 1, Chowringhee, and there established the Palace Hotel. She represented one of the old land-marks of Calcutta which, I am sorry to say, are now so rapidly disappearing. Opposite to the hotel there used to be a very dirty and unsightly tank, quite different from all the other tanks in Chowringhee, which was eventually filled up, and the greater part of the ground thus reclaimed has been occupied by the Calcutta Tramways Co. for their Esplanade junction, and a small portion to the extreme west forms part of Lady Curzon’s Garden. Before we proceed further on our travels I may as well state that Chowringhee, Esplanade Row, East, and Park Street were devoid of European shops, with the exception of the Belatee Bungalow, and, I think, T.E. Thomson & Co. The next street to arrest our attention is
Formerly known as Jaun Bazaar Street, a place of ill repute and the resort of some of the worst characters and budmashes in Calcutta. It was a dirty, filthy, narrow sort of lane having no side-paths and the houses being built most irregularly and without any attempt at symmetry or alignment. In fact it had altogether a most disreputable and evil appearance. The street as all can see has undergone quite a transformation, more particularly in that section near the Chowringhee end, and has now become an ornament and acquisition to the city.
Here, as it says in the “Directory,” is Chowringhee Place, formerly known as Chowringhee, but so utterly changed as to make it difficult to recognise it as the old street of the past.
[Illustration: Photo. by Bourne & Shepherd The Sir Stuart Hogg Market]
[Illustration: Chowringhee, showing tanks opposite Lindsay Street and Bengal Club.]