Since the erection of Chowringhee Mansions and the new United Service Club this street has been much improved by bringing the various buildings more or less into alignment with one another, and by the introduction of paved side-walks on either side, more particularly near the Chowringhee quarter.
[Illustration: Photo by Johnston & Hoffmann Bristol Hotel, Chowringhee]
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann. Corporation Street, showing Hindustan Buildings—Proprietors, Hindustan Co-operative Insurance Society, Ltd.]
[Illustration: Hindustan Buildings—Proprietors, Hindustan Co-operative Insurance Society, Ltd., Corporation Street]
[Illustration: Old site of the present Continental Hotel, Chowringhee]
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann Hotel Continental, Chowringhee]
At the Free School Street end new buildings have taken the place of old and antiquated ones. I well recollect there was for some time a house on the left-hand side which was occupied by the assistants of the old Oriental Bank, all of whom I knew very well, and it went by the name of the Oriental Bank Chummery. They subsequently removed to one of the Panch Kotee houses in Rawdon Street, where they used to give dances and other entertainments. The house next to their old one in Kyd Street suddenly collapsed one day and was reduced to a heap of rubbish, but fortunately no one was hurt. At the time of the Exhibition in 1883-84 there was an entrance to the grounds of the Museum alongside the archway over the end of the tank, which has recently been bricked up, close to which dining rooms were opened, and the elite of Calcutta society often dined there during the months that the Exhibition was open.
I have already observed that there were no shops in this part of the town, and there was nothing to distinguish it from any other residential street such as Middleton Street and Harington Street. As far as I recollect Hall & Anderson were the first to establish the new departure in this respect. The site on which they have built their premises was an old, tumble-down godown, in the occupation of some French people of the name of Dollet, who sold French wines, brandy, and condiments. The row of shops immediately on the left, facing Russell Street, styled Park House, are built on a portion of the compound and the site of the stables and coach house of the old 56, Park Street, at one time occupied by the late J. Thomas, senior partner of the old firm of R. Thomas & Co. Proceeding further down the street on the same side we come to the row of shops extending as far as the corner of Free School Street. These, from the Light Horse Club, are built on ground that in the old days was part of a large compound attached to the girls’ department of the old Doveton College, and the Park Street Thanna, which I observe has been lately pulled down, was the girls’ school. Of course we all know that Park Mansions are built on the site of the Doveton College for boys. The large, imposing looking house on the opposite side, No. 24, was formerly occupied by the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal before Belvedere became the official residence.