Frere hall is one of the landmarks of Karachi it is a well preserved English building that still remains in its full glory, Although it was a public place and was vanue for all types of functions book exhibtions and picnic point for Karaciates but unfortunatly the US consulates being in the neighbourhood it is now declared a security zone. No one is allowed to visit it or even take picture of the hall. There is a library and Art gallery of Sadqain’s painting in it but due to the fact that it is now more or less closed for public no one actually visits them.
When one drives from Saddar to clifton in Karachi one however can still admire the beuty of this beautiful building.
History of Frere Hall
Out of twelve designs submitted, the one by Lt. Col St. Clair Wilson was chosen and construction started in 1863. It was biult with a cost of 180,000 Rupees. It was opened by Samuel Mansfield, the Commissioner of Sind in 1865.
The building is built in the Venetian Gothic style in yellow sandstone which supposedly came from the surrounding hills of Karachi. Limestone and red and grey sandstones from Jungshahi was also used in the construction. Richard Burton when saw frere hall said “the Veneto-Gothic, so fit for Venice, so unfit for Karachi”
It was used as a Town Hall during the British Raj. It also housed a number of busts of famous people including King Edward VII’s which was a gift from Seth Edulji Dinshaw. It also housed oil paintings of former Commissioners in Sind including Sir Charles Pritchard and Sir Evan James.
Later after Pakistan was founded it was used as a public hall and a library was established while top floor was museum. In nintees top floor hall was decorated with murals of famous artist of Pakistan Sadquain.