Lady Ratan Tata’s Town Mansion
It’s hard to imagine that this baroque-styled building with its prominent facades of Corinthian colonnades and finely crafted lion statues was once a private residence. Today, the palatial structure houses the corporate head office of Deutsche Bank. But at one point in time it was home to Sir Ratan Tata, the younger son of renowned Jamshedji Tata, and his wife, Lady Navajabai.
Situated at the corner of Murzban Road, facing Azad Maidan, this Grade IIA heritage building was called the Tata Palace. The plot was acquired by Sir Ratan Tata, on which he planned to build his family home. Being a patron of French architecture, he planned the structure following the art. It was designed by French architect, Mon Marice who sent full size plaster models of caryatids, columns and decorative motifs worth nearly Rs 100.000 to be copied in marble stone and plaster by the local craftsmen from Paris. The construction was further undertaken by Rajoo Babaji, under the supervision of architect Charles Steven.
The exterior was built out of white stone, marble and plaster of Paris and adorned with sculptures. carvings, broad pathways and lawns. The structure had three floors (including the ground floor),with each level having three bedrooms. The ground floor housed a huge library, the main kitchen and a pantry with the servants quarters located in the large outhouse. The first floor was a guest suite, while the second floor comprised of Lady Navajbai and Naval Tata’s suites. These were elaborate suites consisting of dressing rooms, large bathrooms, and even larger bedrooms.
The lawn behind the main house, that once contained flowerbeds and sculptures, is where the
Sterling cinema stands today.
Sadly, Sir Ratan Tata fell ill soon after this colossal mansion was completed; he then left for England to seek medical treatment never to return. He passed away in 1918, leaving Lady Navajbai a widow at the young age of 41. She continued to live at the Tata House for the rest of her life, with style, elegance and dignity. In the 1990s, building was acquired by Deutsche bank.