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Kalidas Jethabhai House: Site School Introduction


Kalidas Jethabhai House, Conservation Site School at Dharmaj is located at the periphery of the dense historic core of the village and is owned by the heirs of Kalidas Jethabhai Patel. The building is a two-storeyed composite structure consisting of timber framing and mud and lime mortar brick walls. The building has two linearly organised wings (one of which is severely dilapidated), separated by a courtyard. Adjoining the building, is a large open ground that was used to host family gatherings and festival celebrations until the time the house was occupied by the family. The house was rented out to members of the local community for several years after the family left and has remained unoccupied since more than a decade after that. Over the years, the structure has undergone considerable damage due to continuous disuse, weather impacts and the lack of funds and resources for its repair and maintenance. The rear wing showed evidence of repairs, modifications and additions done in concrete by tenants which, due to its incompatibility with the traditional material, led to further deterioration of the structure.


CHC commenced work at the Site School in December 2021 and has carried out safeguarding of the front wing followed by careful dismantling of dilapidated parts of the rear wing. Material recovered from the dismantling has been systematically stored in a material shed constructed on the open ground using some of the salvaged bricks and roofing sheets.


The Conservation Site School initiative seeks to actively engage local residents, heritage professionals, architects, site managers, craftspeople and students through workshops, short courses and volunteering opportunities with a larger aim is to initiate action for heritage conservation in Dharmaj through training and capacity building. 11th October 2021


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