Martin Burn Ltd is the name given in 1946
after the merger of two mighty contractor firms – Martin and Burn in Calcutta.
Established in 1890 in partnership with a
British gentleman, namely Sir Thomas Acquinas Martin ( -1905 ), Rajen Mookerjee
let the company be known after his worthwhile partner in order to avoid the
prejudice attached to a native Indian.
Martin Co under the stewardship of
Rajen and Acquinas rose to be a pre-eminent construction concern with its credit
of building waterworks at Palta, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Benares and many other
architectural marvels like Esplanade Mansion, Standard Chartered Building,
South Eastern Railway Headquarters in Garden Reach, Tipu Sultan Mosque. So much
so, that in 1904 the firm was awarded the contract of building the foundation of
a memorial in Calcutta after Queen Victoria. Finally the total responsibility of
completing the memorial vested with Martin & Co and Rajen Mookerjee was awarded
the knighthood in 1921.
Burn & Co which had the experience of
building many an important structures in Calcutta like St. Andrew’s Church
(1818), the 152 high Ochterlony Monument (1828) was taken over in 1927 and the
two together went on dotting the city with buildings like St. Xaviers’ College,
Calcutta, Belur Math Temple, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna order, Assembly
House – the list is endless.
In fact, most of the Calcutta skyline can
rightfully be claimed by Martin Burn and it would not be wrong to call the
erstwhile capital of India as the MartinBurn city.