Raj Bhavan was the former official residence of the Viceroys of British India when Calcutta was the capital of the country. Built in 1803 by Governor General Marquis of Wellesley, there are six gates in all-upon four sides. It is probably the largest residence in Calcutta with 137 rooms and is considered a major Calcutta Tourist Attraction.
TREASURY BUILDING - The red – thick Treasury Building is located just to the south of the intersection. It houses many important offices of the state accounts and audit sections. It is built on a classical quadrangular plan, with tall windows, matching seta of Corinthian pillars and a balustrade on the roof with pairs of phoenixes at intervals.
ST. JOHN’S CHURCH – To the north of the intersection, opposite the Treasury Building is the St. John’s Church. This is not the oldest church in Kolkata, nor the largest. Its distinction, however, lies in its graceful architecture, modellled by Lt. James Agg, apparently on the lines of the church of St. martin-in-the-Fields in England.
COMMERCIAL LIBRARY – Once out of the St. John’s compound, turn left along the Council House Street. One can see further down the road the other secretariat office buildings, with the typical red brick construction, portico and arched passageways. This was built in 1885, to mark the visit of the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII.
KOLKATA GPO & POSTAL MUSEUM – The Postal headquarters of Calcutta, located in the BBD Bag area, is an interesting architectural piece. The Calcutta General Post Office (GPO), the commercial hub of the city designed by Walter B. Grenville was built in 1864. Its high domed roof and tall Ionic-Corinthian pillars give the building an imposing appearance marking the boundaries of the former Fort William, destroyed during Shiraj-ud-Daulah's attack on the British Settlement in 1756. It is also alleged to be the site of the notorious Black Hole of Calcutta. The GPO functions as the chief post office of West Bengal and houses an adjacent redbrick building, the Postal Museum that was built in 1884. The museum displays a wide collection of artefacts and stamps, which includes antique cast iron post boxes, signal lights from the Railway Mail Service, franking seals, copies of charters, etc commemorating the history of postal services in India. At the southwestern end of the building is the Philatelic Bureau, which is a collector's delight. Visitors can buy some of the more recent first day covers and mint stamps at cost price from the Bureau.
COLLECTORATE BUILDING – Kolkata Collectorate building was constructed in 1890. This is the office of the presidency commissioner, in charge of the south Bengal districts. It is a neat red-brick building with quadrangular courtyard and has a notable Palladian-late ornate curlicues, decorative tablets and typical small pavilions on the roof.
WRITERS BUILDING - A massive red building was originally built as a residence for the British East India Company's clerical and administrative staff called as writers, hence the name Writers' building. This building summarizes the political revolution of Bengal. The Chief Minister's office is also located in this building. Kolkata's present Writers' Building was first started as early as 1690. Within the periphery of the old fort, the junior writers or clerks of the East India Company used to stay in mud hovels. So it came to be known as the 'Writers' Building'.
ST. ANDREW’S KIRK - The Scots in the East India Company brought their 'rivalry' with the English to the banks of the Hooghly and when their own church (or 'kirk') was built in 1818 by Messrs Burn, Currie & Co, its steeple was built higher than that of the English church at St John's - after a preceding row between the Anglican Bishop Middleton and Dr Bryce of the Scottish Church. Only the unkind would suggest that the Jocks were out to upstage the Sassenachs!
This is yet another colonial church built in the early 19th century which owes its design to the oft-copied St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Its location at the top of Old Court House Street made this church a focal point in the city which it retains to this day.
OLD CURRENCY BUILDING – This building till about 1936-37 housed offices of the Reserve Bank of India before it shifted to Mumbai. It was in this very run – down, half demolished building that many momentous decisions concerning the trade and monetary policies of India in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century were taken.
CENTRAL TELEGRAPH OFFICE – This is a red-brick structure, with a graceful rectangular pavilion at the northeast corner of the roof, resembling the Villa Medici in Rome. Done in the Palladian – Tuscan style, it has a quadrangle inside with both robust and slender Corinthian columns (some in pairs, balancing the arches and windows. It manages to look elegant despite the hawkers selling foodstuffs, knick – knacks and old books on the ground floor alcoves and verandas.