Merewether Tower

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - YASIR FEROZ

Merewether Tower, or Tower as the bus con­duc­tors shout, can­not be missed by any­one stand­ing on a bus stop or go­ing through main roads of the Karachi city. It is one of the most known, but ar­guably the least ac­knowl­edged land­marks of the city. Beau­ti­fully carved, el­e­gantly de­signed, adorned with mys­te­ri­ous the mo­tifs tower was raised by pub­lic sub­scrip­tion as a me­mo­rial for Sir Wil­liam L Merewether and De­signed by James Stra­chan, the Mu­nic­i­pal En­gi­neer. The foun­da­tion stone was laid by the Gov­er­nor of Bom­bay, Sir James Fer­gus­son in 1884.It was for­mally opened to the pub­lic in 1892 by the Com­mis­sioner of Sindh, Sir Evan James.

The struc­ture is built in camel col­ored and shows a height­ened sen­si­tiv­ity to de­tail­ing and em­pha­sis on carv­ing and dec­o­ra­tion. The ar­chi­tec­ture takes the form of an Eleanor cross. Eleanor crosses were a se­ries of 12 mon­u­ments erected in Eng­land by King Ed­ward I be­tween 1291 and 1294, in me­mory of his wife, Eleanor of Castile. Merewether tower stands on a plat­form which is 44 feet square and rises to a height of 102 feet.

It promi­nently dis­plays clocks on all four sides. The clocks are sit­u­ated at the base of a spire which is 72 feet high from the ground. The clocks are 7 feet in di­am­e­ter. In the last few years, pro­tec­tive iron fenc­ing has been pro­vided all across the tower to keep anti-so­cial el­e­ments away.

At the time of com­ple­tion, the to­tal cost of the project came out to be Rs 37,178. Visit this beau­ti­ful and mem­o­rable land­mark. It may force au­thor­i­ties to take bet­ter care. —Karachi

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