United Club bldg. Jamshedpur, a legacy of British colonial past

Colonial United Club bldg. Jamshedpur, India.joinpaperplanes.com

In the  late 1800s and early 1900s, lots of Europeans were settled down in  Jamshedpur, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand- particularly when Tata  steel was started in 1907 and the 110-year-old United Club was then known as Naach Bungla (Dancing Hall). The Europeans and their families  used the building for week end get-together - ball and social gathering in order to be free  from the tedium of busy work  during weekdays  and unavoidable boredom.  It is obvious, this site was once the hub of social activities and meeting during holidays for the Europeans. In 1921 here,  a Technical Institute was functioning catering to the needs of  Indians with a basic knowledge  in metallurgy. The institute gave them advanced training in that  field in order to make them eligible for job in metallurgical industries. 

Colonial United Club bldg. Jamshedpur,.justdial.com

The red-colored Gothic style one story structure built in 1913  has a porch supported by cast-iron  columns with corners adorned by small domes. There were expansions in the later years and the front and back facades  do not show any wear and tear and they date back to 1913. On either side of the porch the building has plain windows that are well protected by the continuous sunshade  against sun glare and rains. On the terrace there is a raised structure in the back part with a triangular-shaped simple pediment and on either side of  which there is a small dome with a finial. Below the terrace and in the porch one can notice the eaves. In the porch, it is supported by stone brackets. These features enhance the look of the building. There is a big hall  with small rooms and the building is being owned by TISCO (Tata Steel).

An interesting fact is the United Club office building entertained the local population for a long time and it ran a broadcasting station for week end entertainment. It was  broadcasting Hindi film songs to keep the people in good spirits. However,  broadcasting of music was stopped in 1961 by TISCO. Part of the reason was the entire music system - players,  music records in particular rpm, etc., became obsolete as  better music accessories were available on the market.  

Located close to  Beldih Baptist Church the united club building has  Art Deco architectural elements. Though it has varying sizes of arches and pillars, and other design elements that suggest retention of post-colonial vibe/ ambiance, one can not escapes from the fact that there are basic Indian  design features  like dome fineal, etc suggesting element of Indo-Saracenic style widely followed in the colonial buildings of Madras (Chennai) and Baroda (Vadodara) designed by architect Robert Chisholm.

As for Art Deco  design elements incorporation of these features is not new to this area. Many buildings in this area have these elements, so are the iconic Loyola School, Sacred Heart Convent and fire temple  all these came up in  mid-20th century,