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Those were the days: How the Ripon Building transformed into a seat of local governance over 100 years

ower struggles rarely give rise to constructive development. But the creation of the headquarters of the Madras Corporation was one of those rare occurrences.

Madras was being ruled, rather autocratically, by a British-American colonial administrator and slave trader President Elihu Yale (1649-1721). It is after him that the Ivy League Yale University is named.

To clip Yale’s wings, the Chairman of the East India Company, Joshua Child conceived a Corporation to create an alternative power centre. However, the reason that was given was that the growing city had an unwieldy budget and that there was a need for a formal body of local government.

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