One of the most iconic Karachi buildings. Considered to be the greatest achievement on James Strachan’s impressive resume. DJ Science college building is a fantastic aesthetic undertaking which has not lost its grandeur with time. But if we have done justice to its soul is a separate topic altogether.
DJ Science college was founded as an Arts College with 28 students and 5 members as per the official website of the institute. It was named after Mr. Dayaram Jethmal (hence DJ) and was inaugurated on 17th January, 1887 by Lord Reay, the Governor of Bombay in a bungalow. The present building’s foundation stone was laid by Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin on Nov 19, 1887 and it took five years for completion. Made in neoclassical style, it was considered to be finest of James Strachen’s works.
The Karachi Walla had a chance to sneak in the compound on a lazy weekend. The building has undergone a major re-haul. The front lawn still seem to be work in process. Effort had been made in making extension work to integrate with the old structure but it seem to lack the finesse of the old structure. Giant pillars support the portico and an iron staircase took us to the first floor. Someone told me that there stood a statue of Mitharam, another philanthropist (The hostel opposite to DJ Science college is named after him) which was thrown from the first floor by the students. How much have we evolved since good old times. For worse.
The towers on either end of the main building had a surprise waiting for us. The access was through the new classrooms which has been built around them. The wooden staircase reeked of a bygone era and was aesthetically pleasing. From above we had a breathtaking view of the adjacent area; Mitharam Hostel, a forgetful structure next to it, Principal’s bungalow, SM Law College, National Museum, NED City campus and many more.
Thank you Mr. DJ for that.