Saturday, February 4, 2023

Frere Hall Karachi – A Fading Colonial Heritage

Frere Hall, Karachi was built in 1863 to honor Sir Bartle Frere, who was appointed to the Viceroy’s Council in 1859 and promoted economic development in British-administered Sindh province.

Lieutenant Colonel Henry St. Clair Wilkins, a well-known architect who had previously served in the British army, designed the structure and raised a sum of Rs. 22,500 via subscription.

Architecture and Design

The hall is built in the Venetian Gothic style and has an octagonal tower with an iron cage and an acute roof spire.

It’s made of the classic yellowish Karachi limestone, with white colite extracted from Bholari south of Kotri and red sandstones from Jungshahi providing effective contrast.

The broad verandahs’ columns and arches are quite elegant, and the entire detail is appealing.

The spire’s peak rises 144 feet above ground level. A double staircase goes immediately from the perch on the east side to a magnificent hall in the top story, which is 70 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 38 feet high.

It has broad verandahs on both sides and an arch that opens to the north. There is a large hall on the ground floor that is identical to the one above.

Frere Hall Events & Book Fair

Frere Hall is one of the few well-preserved structures from the British Raj still standing in Karachi. It is a symbol of Karachi’s fading colonial heritage.

Frere Hall has been open to the public since 2011. On Sundays, there is a book fair in the courtyards where you may buy antique out-of-print books and other items.

The Sadequain gallery, which contains the iconic Sadequain artwork “Arz-o-Samawat,” (Heaven and Earth) is open the rest of the week.

frere hall karachi

Frere Hall Library

The Liaquat Library is situated on the ground floor of the building. It’s a public library dedicated to Liaquat Ali Khan, the library’s namesake, and the country’s first prime minister.

The Liaquat Library is one of the city’s largest libraries. It has a total of more than 70,000 books. Some of these books are also difficult to find anywhere else.

Visitors at Liaquat Library can access a variety of technical manuals, atlases, dictionaries, and even manuscripts.

Frere Hall CSS Corner

In 2020, KMC Administrator Mr Iftikhar Shallwani and DG Parks and Horticulture Taha Saleem launched a CSS Corner in Frere Hall, with the aim of tutoring CSS aspirants for free.

A number of current and ex bureaucrats, diplomats and senior officials, started teaching CSS candidates – most of whom qualified and allocated to different groups in the years to come.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!