A heritage site called Mendoza Building in Karachi’s historic Rambagh Quarter is being slowly, secretly prepped for demolition.
Architect and heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar documented the changed to alert the authorities. In this case she addressed the letter to Manzoor Kanasaro of the Culture, Tourism and Antiquity department of Sindh.
The building has a stone façade, ornamental balustrades, crowns with filigree work in the rondels, wooden windows, jharokha-style balconies supported by stone columns and a red-tile gable roof which are of great cultural and historical value. The demolition started without any prior documentation of the building.
According to the Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act 1994, it is necessary to protect the structure of a heritage building while carrying out any changes on the inside, she pointed out. The demolition has started in such a way that without bracing support it will collapse.
These two images are from different days. The first one is dark from the inside and the roof looks stable. In the second image, one notices deliberate activity and an attempt to destabilize the structure. In a photo taken on Sept 18, 2020, it is clear that the wooden windows and roof have gone.