Lakshmi Building Karachi
Lakshmi Building Karachi is a historic landmark on M. A. Jinnah Road located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Built in 1924, it borrows from Chicago and New York skyscraper architecture. The building remains well-occupied and well-used. Its clock tower sometimes loses time but serves as a chronometer. The building takes visitors back to an era when life was valued and art played a role in development.
It was once the tallest building in the city and was commissioned by the Lakshmi Insurance Company of Lahore, owned by Lala Lajpat Rai. The building was inaugurated by Indian political figure Sarojini Naidu on 24 December 1938. The building was designed by Karachi-based firm Maysers D H Daruwala & Co., with construction by the Hindustan Construction Company. A sculpture of the deity Lakshmi once adorned the top of the building, but it was demolished after partition. Though Karachi’s Lakshmi’s building is not being demolished, Sarojini Naidu’s name has been erased from the inaugural plaque.
The Lakshmi Building’s pinkish exterior is marred only by shades of black. In Hindu mythology, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fitting for a building on a commercial street. Preserving the building requires addressing environmental degradation on Bunder Road. An effective mass transit system is key to conserving Karachi’s old city.
In addition to the Lakshmi Building in Karachi, there is also a historical Lakshmi Mansion in Lahore located near Mall Road.