Club president promises to rebuild gutted structure

Library, banquet hall, mixed lounge and dining room unaffected

President of Secunderabad Club, Raghuram Reddy received the first alarm about the blaze at 2:45 a.m on Sunday. After surveying the site, he said, “We are assessing the damage. The pillars are intact and we have plans to reconstruct the building to its original shape. It will be difficult and challenging but our initial thoughts are to rebuild.”

“Luckily, the library is safe, as is the mixed lounge. The dining room and AC banquet hall have not been affected as the blaze spread through the right side of the building,” added Mr. Reddy, who suspects heavy rain at midnight, power outage and voltage fluctuation as the reasons for the fire.

In 2007, the Secunderabad Club carried out a restoration effort on some of its properties. “We worked on the ballroom and some of the cottages and bungalows as they had wooden truss roof and tilework. We also carried out renovation of the dining room. The documentation of buildings was carried out by us,” said Surya Narayana Murthy of Kshetra, an architectural firm.

Elaborating on the challenges related to reconstructing the damaged portions, Mr Murthy averred, “We have lost it. We can reconstruct the building using archival images but cannot restore the original and authentic material that was used for construction. Some of the club’s mementoes and artefacts are irreplaceable.”

Lost in the blaze were the Colonnade Bar with its wood panels, flooring, victorian furniture and mounted hunting trophies. It remains to be seen how the Secunderabad Club rebuilds a relic of the Raj.

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