The Victoria Public Hall will be thrown open to the public by July with the Chennai Corporation set to complete the project to restore the heritage structure by June.

The project, to restore the nearly 110-year-old building to its original glory, was taken up a year ago at a cost of Rs.3.96 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Mayor M.Subramanian, who inspected the restoration work on Monday, said the damaged roof has been replaced and work on the wooden flooring and staircase is in progress.

Once the work is finished, sound and light show would be conducted on the ground floor, whose built-up area is 13,342 sq.ft. The first floor, which has a built-up area of 12, 541 sq.ft., would be used to conduct cultural programmes. The hall would have a seating capacity of 600 persons.

Archaeological Survey of India, Anna University and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, a voluntary organisation, are some of the agencies that conduct periodical review of the restoration work.

A press release from the Corporation said that the Victoria Public Hall, which is an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, was built by Namperumal Chetty in 1890. Renovation work of the hall was first carried out in 1967 and the then Chief Minister C.N.Annadurai dedicated it for public use.

After a few years, the building remained closed for over 40 years. Several eminent personalities, including Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, have visited the hall.

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