110-year-old Newton Hall to be demolished

LAHORE: The 110-year-old historical building of Newton Hall of Mayo Hospital is to be demolished after it was declared dilapidated and unusable.Constructed in 1902, the building has been declared abandoned by the different departments of Punjab government. Construction and Works Department, Road Research and Material Lab, and Architecture Department has conducted surveys of the building and proposed to demolish it.

A new nurses hostel has been proposed at the same place and same design as Newton Hall with an estimated cost of Rs 30.5 million.

The auction for the debris of Newton Hall was held on Monday where more than 50 companies participated. A total of Rs 5.86 million has been decided in the auction for the debris.

The demolishing process would be started after the Punjab government approves the auction and after cleaning the debris in one month, the construction process would be started, which could take more than one year.

Lahore has significance for its history and historical buildings around the globe; large number of visitors and tourists visits these historical places and building every year. By demolishing such buildings that have been declared unusable would destroy Lahore’s significance.

However, sources told Daily Times that the building could survive another 100 years if minor renovations were carried out and the material used was still in good quality. The sources further added that Mayo Hospital administration had previously planned to construct a parking plaza at the place of Newton Hall and for this purpose it was declared unusable and dangerous.

Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zahid Pervaiz told Daily Times that surveys had been conducted from three to four departments of the buildings and all departments had declared the building unusable and dangerous and recommended to demolish it to avoid any mishaps.

Zahid was of the view that the bricks and the material of the building had been weakened and could not bear its load any longer. “Therefore the only option is to demolish it before any mishap may occur,” Zahid added.

To a question about renovating the building, Zahid said, “We have also noted the option to renovate the building, but the survey departments suggested that if this building will be renovated it may only be used as a monument.”

He further said that huge amounts were required for the renovation which could be around Rs 100 million. “Whereas the new hostel building will be constructed with Rs 30 million which is much less than the renovation amount,” Zahid added.

About the parking plaza, Zahid said that it was also proposed previously but an expert suggested it was an unsuitable location for a parking plaza, therefore nursing hostel was proposed.Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\25\story_25-9-2012_pg13_1