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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 17, december 16-31, 2009

Historic Residences in Chennai - 32

(Sriram V.)

Pugh’s Gardens
45, Pugh’s Road, Adyar

The house today looks like a bombed-out building, what with all its doors and windows having been removed. The vast gardens are totally unkempt and there is no signage or a marble plaque in the compound wall to tell us what the property was called. But old maps of Madras indicate that this could be Pugh’s Gardens. Certainly, the road running on one side of this house is still called Pugh’s Road.

The house was built in 1816 and by 1822 it was owned by a James Minchin. In 1837, it became the home of a “Mr Pugh” who most probably was the same Joseph Pugh who was head of the merchant firm Pugh & Breithaupt. This later became Pugh & Co and had its offices at Parry’s Corner.

The house has an interesting design, with circular and curved motifs appearing to dominate the entire facade. In its time it must have had a phenomenal view of the Adyar River but this is, today, completely obscured by the MRTS line running close to the property.

If this house is Pugh’s, then it is probably at least 200 years old; even otherwise, it could be a century old. It deserves to be preserved. But whoever owns it seems to have other ideas as is evident from the neglect of the structure and its gardens. (Courtesy: KalamKriya.)


In this issue

Will the City waterways see better days?
Urban renewal must look decades ahead
Heritage legislation is essential
Calming traffic in recreational areas,
like the Marina
Historic Residences of Chennai - 32
Other stories

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


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