LALBAGH GLASS HOUSE
The main attraction in Lalbagh is the magnificent glass house, with jewel-like embellishments on gracefully curved and sloped geometric forms based on London Crystal Palace. The construction of the present Glass House was concaved in the year 1888 by the then superintendent of Lalbagh, J.Cameron. He proposed the construction of Glass House for the sole purpose of holding horticultural show as a conservation. The proposal was placer before the government of Maharaja of Mysore. His Highness Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar who sanctioned the proposal in the year 1889.
The design and architecture of this building was prepared the MacFarlane and company, Glasgow, England and the same was approval. The construction of the magnificient building was also entrusted to M/s MacFarlane and company. The supervision of the construction was entrusted to Mr.Scaldwell who was Executive Engineer in the Public Works Department.
Originally there was a plan to accommodate office room, library and herbarium in one of the wings of the Glass House, later it was decided to have only the exhibition main hall with side wings. The Prince of Wales, his Royal Highness, Albert Victor, laid the foundation of the Glass House on 30th November 1889, completed in the year 1890. It was named after him as 'Albert Victor Conservatory'.
The Glass House is in the form of cross constructed on the model of Crystal Palace of England. It has a main hall measuring 160x80 ft, two wings at right angle to the hall measuring 60x40ft, each and basement with a height of 3 ft. The whole structure is fabricated out of iron and glass. It is a handsome edifice, looks, elegant with terrace gardens in the front and green lawns at either side in the form of crescent shape. A row of champaka trees have been planted around the Glass House excepting the front in the form of crescent shape. At a distance of 60 ft. further a row of monkey puzzle trees (Araucaria bidwilli) was planted. Now these trees are in their prime age providing good shape to the walkers and lend aesthetic look to the surrounding of glass house. At the turn of this century, two rows of pencil cedars (Juniperus procera) were planted on either side of the path leading from one end of the crescent prominade to another within champaka and monkey puzzle rows. Now, these pencil cedars provide profuse shade and cool breeze. The garden in front of the Glass House. At the time this ornamental building was completed, it was considered as the finest building in the new style in the beginning, all the sides (freezes) were fitted with teak lattice work above the basement which were draped with creepers in order to provide shelter to the plants inside and protect them from the scorching sun and the blowing winds.
Around the year 1935, when Rao Bahadur H.C. Javaraya was Superintedant, His Highness Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore sanctioned the constructions of rear wing to the east of the main hall of the Glass House. This wing is built purely out of in digenous material from Mysore Iron Works, Bhadravathy.
This Glass House has four entrances on all the four directions, from and rear entrances have prominent roads, terrace gardens with artistic flight of steps, lamp posts, paraphets and trees such as elegant Araucarias, Pride of India, Tecoma argentia, at either side. The gravelled path from main entrance leads up to the toplary garden at a distance with band stand and artistic fountain in the middle. The band stand and oval garden synchronise with the Glass House. The metalled path runs from rear entrance to the circle at the foot of hillock. The metalled road passing through the portico of the main entrance starts from Lalbagh main gate and meets another road linking the remaining three gates of Lalbagh. Thus, the Glass House is linked with all main it a SANCTUM SANCTORUM Lalbagh.