As the town of Shimla grew through the nineteenth centruy its Mall steadily developed as the primary street and the hub of its social life and the core is the row of shops and public establishments. Architecturally, this stretch is often likened to an English ‘home counties’ small-town marketplace. Elements of Tudor framing, a varied roofline,assorted columns and numerous decorations have given this row considerable character. The street also has a variety of windows that range from bay, sash-barred and diamond-cut panes – and some unusual elements also find expression and take the form of Mughal – inspried cupolas that hold bay windows. Reminiscent of Italy, acroteria of urns can be found on a couple of structures.
While decorative devices abound over the Mall, the aspects of safety are apparent with the presence of ‘fire walls’ between buildings. Interestingly, the lower floors of most building start well below the Mall, and the same structure displays a variation of character at different levels. The earliest shop buildings, are regarded to have been constructed on the ‘Northbrook Terrace’ below the Post Office. Today, the Mall forms the core of the town’s notified ‘Heritage Zone’.
(source: display board)