Northbrook Hall an elegant building known as Lalkuthi (red house), is situated at Wiseghat in Dhaka on the bank of the buriganga river. It was originally built as a Town Hall and named after lord northbrook, Viceroy of India (1872-1876). Later, it was converted into a public library to which a clubhouse was added and called Johnson Hall. The building combines elements of Mughal architecture blended with architectural styles of the European renaissance.
The building's semi-circular horseshoe arches containing entrances on the north, the four octagonal minars at the northern salient, the ornamental parapet and the towering pinnacles above demonstrate the Muslim features. The deep red colour of the grand monument with its graded roofs, pinnacles and parapets presents a magnificent view from the riverfront. The building, however, has lost its attraction now because of the new structures such as assembly halls and community centres that are built in the same premises and surround it from all sides. [S M Mahfuzur Rahman]