For a century, the building has stood the test of time and is home to the zonal railway.
History: The foundation stone was laid on February 8, 1915, by Lord Pentland, the Governor of Madras. He wanted an office for the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company (M&SMR). The three-storey building was inaugurated on November 11, 1922, by Lady Willingdon, the wife of Freeman-Thomas, the then Governor of Madras.
- The building was designed by N Grayson, an architect and an employee of M&SMR. It’s based on the Dravidian style of classical architecture.
- The stones were brought to Kerala via sea and then to Madras by rail. The construction was done by T Samynada Pillai, a Bangalore-based contractor, for ₹30.76 lakhs.
Numbers: It took 7 months to lay the foundation with 500 tonnes of steel bars embedded in 10,000 tonnes of granite concrete. Each of the four corner domes has water tanks with a total capacity of 1.32 lakh litres. Transporting the stones alone took 8 years.