Flora Fountain Post & Telegraph Office
An exquisitely sculpted monument, Flora Fountain lies at the southern end of the historic Hornby Road (Dadabhai Naoroji Road), called the Mile Long Road, in South Bombay. It cost Rs 47,000 or 9,000 pounds sterling to build in the year 1864. And was constructed by the Agri—Horticultural Society of Western India, out of a donation of Rs 20,000 by Cursetjee Fardoonjee Parekh.
The history of Flora Fountain can be traced to the time when the Old Mumbai Fort was demolished in 1860 as part of the then Governor, Sir Bartle Frère’s efforts to improve the civic sanitation and the urban space requirements of the growing city. As a result, Hornby Road was widened into a broad avenue; on its western side commercial buildings were constructed in Neo Classical and Gothic Revival designs. Flora Fountain was positioned at the same spot where the Church gate stood before its demolition.
Designed by R Norman Shaw and sculpted in imported Portland stone by James Forsythe, the fountain was to be named after Governor Frère at first but then took on the name of the Roman goddess who formed a part of the fountain’s design. It was meant to be placed at the Victoria Gardens (Byculla), but in 1908 the area was cleared to create space for pedestrians and traffic. Since its unveiling on Hornby Road. it has stood proud and elegant with only a coating of white Oil paint marring its antiquity to an extent.
The Central Telegraph Office is a heritage structure that is now used as an office complex by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. It is more than a century old and is built in the Gothic style of architecture h stone masonry and wood. Unfortunately, the structure faced the negative effects of pollution and neglect over time. In 2006, BSNL identified the need for refurbishment and structural strengthening and commissioned Structwel Designers & Consultants Pvt Ltd to take up complete study of the distresses in the structure