CSI Deaf School building (1912)- will it be conserved for the posterity.

CSI deaf school, Chennai. csideafschoolchennai.com

CSI deaf school, Chennai..newindianexpress.com

C.S.I. Higher Secondary School for the Deaf, Mylapore, Chennai.picxy.com

In Chennai we run into many garden houses mostly designed in European style  with a big garden around it. Many garden houses were  once owned by Europeans, who like rich Indian natives wanted to live in a well ventilated palatial house . The one in Mylapore  that is being managed by the Church of South India is a reminder of old colonial-style home with good ventilation and high ceiling. 

The CSI Higher Secondary School for deaf has been  functioning in a big garden house  since its inception in 1912 along with a hostel, vocational training centre and administration offices. During the Second World War, the building suffered damages  from a bomb blast and the students were moved over to a safer location for their safety. Only in 1952  they  returned to the old site. In the 80s, the building, lacking periodic repairs coupled with ageing  the building roof became unsafe and in 2006 the ceiling caved in.  Verandah  was added in 2016. The cost of renovation was prohibitive, more than rupees one and  half to two crores

For any heritage structure, the biggest hurdles are lack of funds or  inability to raise funds; if such a rich heritage structure is a private property, it is more difficult to get the structure restored back to old glory. Most owners would prefer their properties partitioned and then  sell them peace meal for profits. 

As for the CSI building it is a 3 story lime-mortar masonry structure including ground floor with fine palladian style design, big cylindrical Doric columns, high ceiling  and spacious verandah. The roofing built with old technique posed a challenging problem to retain its authenticity. The other glitches are non availability of well trained artisans with expertise in old construction technique.