Saturday, May 31, 2014

How Loane's Square park in Broadway Chennai got its name?

Section of the Park named after Potti Sri Ramulu, Mayor Chennai Corporation
Loane's Square Park shown in Green Rectangle
Have you ever wondered how the park at the junction between Broadway and Audiappa Naicken Street got its name as 'Loane's Square Park?' There an interesting story behind this park and in naming too.
Popham's Broadway  (named after British politician and solicitor Stephen Popham who was determined to improve the sanitation in the late 18th century), later simply known as Broadway, is the historical thoroughfare of the George Town developed by Colonial Madras Local Administrators. The arterial road running along north to south divides George Town exactly two divisions i.e,  Peddanaickenpet and Muthialpet. Only fewer people will able recognize Popham's Broadway.

During early 18th century there was a growing population and commercial activities in George Town. The need for a market with separate points for vegetables, meat and fish was demanded by public. The Colonial administration chose a vacant site at the junction between  the Broadway and (present) Audiappa Naicken Street in George Town and the land was owned by  Stephen Popham. The market place was constructed and thrown open to public in 1780s. The market place was also named as 'Popham's Market.' The market at Broadway survived for over a century. The market also showed signs of wear and tear and the authorities condemned the site as unsanitary.

There was congestion in Black Town, resulting in dispersion of some of the population to neighbouring areas. The site within people's park near Central Railway station was earmarked for the new market. Soon Col. Sir George Montgomerie John Moore, then President of the Madras Corporation laid the foundation stone for Moore Market in 1898. Designed by RE Ellis in the Indo-Saracenic style in a series of quadrangles enclosing shops, it was constructed by A Subramania Iyer. The market, opened in 1900, was considered as the modern with facilities for vegetables, flowers and meat and the same venue was known for  curios including antiques, art, books and pets.

Popham's market was demolished and the site was converted into a park. The Park was named as 'Loane's Square Park' after Samuel Joshua Loane's, Engineer of the Madras Corporation who was responsible for constructing Moore Market.  Now Loane's Square Park is rechristened  as Sriramulu Naidu Park, named after Potti Sri Ramulu Naidu, former Mayor of Chennai Corporation.

Popham’s was demolished, making way for a park – Loane’s Park, named after Samuel Joshua Loane, Engineer of the Madras Corporation who was responsible for constructing Moore Market. It is now known as Sriramulu Naidu Park, after a former Mayor of the city.

Reference

  1. Before the malls, there were the markets XS Real.com February 9, 2012
  2. George Town, Chennai, Wikipedia
  3. Moore, of Moore Market by V Sriram. Madras Heritage and Carnatic Music. August 17, 2012
  4. Stephen Popham, Wikipedia
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