Has also undergone some wonderful and striking changes, not the least being the clearing of the large open space facing the New Market on which the old wooden structure designated the Opera House had stood for so many years, and the erection of the new Opera House and all the shops adjoining up to within a short distance of Fenwick Buildings.
[Illustration: Photo by Johnston & Hoffmann. Esplanade Mansions, built by Mr. Ezra on the site of Scott Thomsons corner.]
[Illustration: Thacker, Spink & Co.’s new premises, completed in 1916. Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann, Calcutta.]
[Illustration: Photo by Johnston & Hoffmann. Walter Locke & Co’s premises, esplanade, East]
[Illustration: Mackintosh Burn & Co. and Morrison & Cottle’s premises, Esplanade, East.]
The streets on either side running parallel to the market have also been much improved, particularly that on the eastern part where in former days there used to stand a low form of tea and coffee shops with one or two mean streets branching off to the east and leading to a disreputable part of the town. The whole street has been straightened out and brightened up, and many of the irregularities and disfigurements that were so marked a feature of it in the old days have been removed.
On this particular spot many of my readers will doubtless recollect that Mr. W.T. Woods, one of Calcutta’s earliest and most successful dentists, had his surgery and residence for a great number of years, and laid the foundation of the fortune with which he returned to England early in the present century. It was a place that unfortunately I knew only too well, but I will say this that he was at all times the gentlest and most sympathetic dentist that I ever came across, and for nervous people, ladies, and children he was par excellence the one man to consult. The house adjoining, at the corner of Sudder Street, has always had the reputation of being haunted, and no one would go near the place for years, and it was gradually falling into decay, when one day to the surprise of everybody some natives appeared on the scene and occupied it, and later on Parrott & Co. leased the premises for their whisky agency. Let us hope that the material spirit has had the effect of exorciting the supernatural one.
Is and always has been an extremely dull and most uninteresting street, entirely lacking in all the essential elements that go towards making a place look bright and cheerful. I really forget what it was like before the Museum was erected, but this did not apparently have the effect of adding to its attractions. The Wesleyan Chapel, School, and Parsonage have been built in my day on the site of what, as far as I remember, were ordinary dwelling houses. There does not appear to be even now much traffic of any sort passing through the street during the day.