:DXSCRIP l0N .
influence beyond the municipal lamp-posts and dustbins with which
their streets are dotted.
The commercial centre of the city is the native quarter called Black
Town', which lies immediately behind the harbour and the two or
three streets of European banks and mercantile offices which there
face the sea, and is more thickly populated than any other part.
Triplicane, the chief Muhammadan quarter, and Purasavākam and
Vepery, where the greater number of the Eurasians reside,' come next
in density: All these lie in the middle of the city, but they are
separated from one another by ample open spaces which will never
be built over. Chief of these spaces is the Island, the city's principal
parade and recreation ground, which is surrounded by the two arms of
the Cooum. river, and forms part of an extensive fire zone which the
military authorities have reserved round the Fort. Next in importance
comes the People's Park, begun in 1859 during Sir Charles Trevelyan's
governorship, which consists of ornamental grounds with a considerable
zoological collection. The Napier Park, lying between Mount Road '
and. Chintâdripetta,-and the Robinson Park, north'of Black Town, are
also due to the initiative of Governors of the Presidency : namely, Lord
Napier (1866-72) and Sir William Robinson (1875), Next to the
Napier Park come the extensive grounds of Government House, and
the open space round the group of public buildings which face the
sea south of the Cooum. All these serve as lungs to the crowded
centre of the city. Of the surrounding fringe the most thickly peopled
area is that immediately north of Black Town, and its population will -
probably continue to increase, as it lies close to the busy quarter.
The principal European quarters are in the west and south of the
fringe, in Egmore, Chetpat, Kilpauk, Nangambaukam, Teynampet, and
in. the strip of land on the north bank of the Adyar river. Here are
the fine houses built by the merchant princes and: the servants of
John Company at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the
nineteenth century, when officials were still allowed to trade. Many,
such as Brodie Castle,.Doveton House, Gambier's Gardens, still bear'.
the names of the authors of their being. All of these are built of brick
cased with- shell-lime plaster (chuneim),< and are designed on very
generous lines. The zandnas attached to some of them bear witness
to the social customs of the period. Modern residences are, planned
on a more lowly scale and employ redbrick.
These quarters .of the city are served by,handsome thoroughfares.
Chief among them is Mount Road, running from the W4lajā Gate of the,
Fort across the Island, past Government House, the Madras Club,
St. George's Cathedral, and the Horticultural Gardens, thence beside
i This name was officially changed to George Town; after the visit of the Prince of
Wales, in 1906.