Merewether Clock Tower

Merewether Clock Tower or Merewether Tower (Urdu: میری ویدر ٹاور‎)[2] is a neo-Gothic clocktower built during the Victorian era in Karachi, Pakistan.[3] The tower is a landmark in central Karachi, and is at the termini of two of the most important roads in central Karachi: Muhammad Ali Jinnah Road and I. I. Chundrigar Road. The tower used to mark the boundary of the city when arriving from the port at Kiamari,[4] and marked the dividing line between Karachi's Old Town and its newer European quarters to the east.[5] It currently is the westernmost point of the Serai Quarter.[6]

Merewether Clock Tower
میری ویدر ٹاور
Merewether Clock Tower 01.jpg
General information
TypeMemorial and clocktower
Architectural styleGothic Revival
LocationSerai Quarter
Town or cityKarachi
CountryPakistan
Named forSir William Lockyer Merewether
Construction started1884
Opened1892
Height102 m (335 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor area44 m (144 ft)
Design and construction
Structural engineerJames Strachan

HistoryEdit

Merewether Tower was raised by public subscription as a memorial for Sir William L. Merewether,[2] who served as Commissioner of Sindh from 1867 to 1877.[7] Designed by James Strachan, the Municipal Engineer of Karachi, the foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Bombay, Sir James Fergusson in 1884.[2] It was formally opened to the public in 1892 by the Commissioner in Sind, Sir Evan James,[2] at a total cost of 37,178 rupees.[8][9]

ArchitectureEdit

Strachan designed the tower in the Gothic Revival style popular in Victorian England, to evoke the architecture of Medieval England (11th to 15th century CE). The architecture takes the form of an Eleanor cross.

The clocktower stands on a base of 44 feet square and rises to a height of 102 feet.[2] 4 clocks are situated at a height of 70 feet on each facade, with a bell that weighs 300 pounds that strikes on the hour.[10] Smaller bells weighing 100 pounds strike on the quarter-hour.[10]

It is made of local Gizri sandstone, and Star of David is also visible on its exterior.[8] The tower is decorated with delicate stonework,[11] which was carved by stonemasons of the Silawat community,[12] who are also known as Gazdars.

SignificanceEdit

The tower used to mark the southern extent of the city when arriving from the port in Kiamari along Napier Mole Road.[4] It also serves as a marker of the dividing line between the Old Town from the new European Serai Quarters.[5] It is also located at the termini of two major thoroughfares: Muhammad Ali Jinnah Road and I. I. Chundrigar Road, and is a major bus-stop.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://pakistaniat.com/2009/01/05/architecture-merewether-tower-karachi/
  2. ^ a b c d e J.W. Smyth (1919). Gazetteer of the Province of Sind. B Vol 1 Karachi District. Bombay: Government Central Press. Reprinted by Pakistan Herald Publications Ltd, Karachi Pg 62
  3. ^ Nadir Siddiqui, Shameen Khan (2 March 2014). "Karachi Time Machine". DAWN. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Siddiqui, Ahmed Husain (1996). Karachi: The Pearl of Arabian Sea. Mohammad Husain Academy.
  5. ^ a b Khuhro, Hamida; Mooraj, Anwer (1997). Karachi, Megacity of Our Times. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-577806-9.
  6. ^ "SERAI QUARTER FEBURARY [sic] 2008". antiquities.sindhculture.gov.pk. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  7. ^ Behram Sohrab H.J. Rustomji, Karachi 1839-1947 A Short History of the Foundation and Growth of Karachi, in Karachi During the British Era Two Histories of a Modern City, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2007. Pg 104
  8. ^ a b Adil, Mamun M. (April 10, 2015). "Revisiting Kurachee..." DAWN. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  9. ^ Smyth, J. W. (2003). Gazetteer of the Province of Sindh, Karachi District. Indus Publications.
  10. ^ a b c Rehman, Q.-U.-A. and Soomro, R.-U.-H., 2019. Revitalizing cultural heritage: conservation of Merewether tower and its impact on urban morphology. Built-Environment Sri Lanka, 13(1), pp.38–50. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/besl.v13i1.7667
  11. ^ Lari, Yasmeen; Lari, Mihail S. (1996). The Dual City: Karachi During the Raj. Heritage Foundation. ISBN 978-0-19-577735-2.
  12. ^ "Built to last — Karachi's stonemasons leave their mark". Arab News PK. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2020-04-12.

Coordinates: 24°50.936′N 66°59.845′E / 24.848933°N 66.997417°E / 24.848933; 66.997417

External linksEdit