Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LIC's United India Building: Historical Landmark at Anna Salai

United India Building (old) situated behind LIC Building at 102, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600 002, India (1)
United India Building (old) situated behind LIC Building at 102, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600 002, India (2)
United India Building (old) situated behind LIC Building at 102, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600 002, India (3)

The LIC Building, a landmark in Anna Salai, houses the Zonal and Madras Divisional Office of LIC , comprise 13 storeys above ground and the basement and sub-basement below the ground. The colonial bungalow standing behind this LIC Building still remains with its heritage and history. The high ceiling structure has tall columns at the front, wide wooden paneling and ornate with stained glasses.

The entire premises measuring about 100 grounds was owned by Garratt, the tailoring firm. In 1883 the entire part and parcel of the land was sold to Lodge of Perfect Unanimity for Rs. 18,000. The Later in 1888, the Lodge sold a portion of the land measuring around 45 grounds and on this land Madras Publishing House was built. Lodge constructed the first floor to hold regular meetings in 1890. In 1905, the remaining 55 grounds were also sold to the District Grand Lodge (Apex body of Freemasonry) for Rs. 80,000. The Freemasons was shifted to its present premises in Egmore in 1916. At the same time the entire premises was sold to Kushaldoss Chaturbhujadoss, a Gujarati business personality for Rs.97,000. The old bungalow was rented to two tenants.  The first tenant was C Radhakrishna Chetty, who founded the Pioneer Laundry  in 1918. The second tenant was Murray & Co, premier auctioneers (established by two brothers Vedantam and Rajam in 1927) who occupied the premises in 1929. Later Kushaldoss Chaturbhujadoss sold it to United Insurance. The auctioneers has now shifted to 4, Norton Road, in Mandaveli. Now Pioneer Laundry remains there and the LIC has rented it out to the laundry people.
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