“It’s a fight to preserve our heritage,” says architect restoring 112-year-old Fort High School

Fort High School in Chamarajpet, made entirely of brick and limewater, has lain dilapidated for years. Now, the non-profit INTACH is restoring the building. In this edition of Citizens Live, Pankaj Modi of INTACH talks about the restoration works, their struggle to initiate it, and how Bengaluru's heritage can be conserved

The Fort High School in Chamarajpet, built in 1907, has lain dilapidated for years. Its alumni include freedom fighter H S Doresamy, cricketer G R Vishwanath, and even the former King of Mysore Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. Sometime back, authorities even “repaired” the school in places with vitrified tiles, completely ignoring its importance as a heritage structure.

Last year, the non-profit INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) took up a project to restore the building to its original state. It took about eight years for INTACH to document the building, get permission from DPI (Department of Public Instruction) to restore the building, and get a donation of Rs 2.4 cr for the works.

The school building, made entirely of brick and limewater, is being restored by a team from Jharkhand, with the same materials and techniques used originally. The work will be completed in five months.

In this conversation with Citizens Live, Pankaj Modi, Conservation Architect with INTACH, talks about the project, what counts as heritage, and why it is difficult to conserve. Natural spaces, built areas, traditions can all be heritage, but the government criteria for heritage includes only palaces, forts etc. Hence heritage structures, often maintained by the PWD (Public Works Department), get demolished or repaired, says Modi.

Of 800 heritage buildings INTACH had identified in Bengaluru in the 1980s, only around half remain now. Modi suggests that PWD should have a specialised cell to manage heritage buildings. However, ultimately it is citizens who should ensure that these buildings are preserved, he says.

Watch the interview for more:


  1. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    I would like to note that Prof P.R.Brahmananda (1927-2003) , anoutstanding economist of the country, was a student of the For High School in the early 40s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…

Similar Story

Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu: Is the scheme doing more harm than good in Chennai?

RWA members within the community, chosen to implement the scheme in resettlement sites in Chennai, feel alienated from other residents.

In December 2021, the Tamil Nadu government introduced the Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu scheme for residents living in low-income, government housing and resettlement sites managed by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB). In this scheme, residents form associations to oversee the maintenance of these sites, with the intention of transferring ownership of their living spaces back to them. This move is significant, especially for the resettlement sites, considering the minimal consultation and abrupt evictions relocated families have faced during the process. What the scheme entails The scheme also aims to improve the quality of living in these sites.…