Oriental Buildings & Hornby Road
One of the first few buildings to come up in the Fort area was the Oriental Building in 1885, which cost Rs 87,000 and initially housed the Cathedral School. In 1893, the building was sold to the Oriental Life Assurance Company and with the proceeds the present Senior School building, a beautiful blend of Gothic and Indian architecture was erected and occupied in 1896.
Starting from Crawford Market, passing by Victoria Terminus and stretching all the way to Flora Fountain is the Hornby Road, now known as Dadabhai Naoroji Road. It was a simple street that was widened into an avenue in the 1860s and is now studded with structures built in the Neo- Classical and Gothic Revival styles of the 19th century. Besides the three mentioned heritage sites, the road also displays the grand structures of the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Times of India, JJ School of Art, J N Petit Public Library and Watcha Aglary.
The history of Hornby Road, named after the then governor William Hornby, can be traced to more than 200 years ago when the British East India Company built the Fort that was later demolished to make space for growing civic requirements. It was then that the small street was broadened into an avenue and impressive buildings built along its stretch. These structures, built between 1885 and 1919, were constructed in accordance with mandatory (government regulation of 1896) pedestrian arcade in the ground floor that performed as the unifying element tying together the various building facades. The result was a splendid spectacle of structures in various architectural styles linked together by a continuous ground floor pedestrian arcade along the streetscape.