On September 26, 2023, the US Consul General, Karachi visited Frere Hall, a historic building that is currently undergoing conservation. The visit was an opportunity to discuss the work of the Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society (SEAS) Pakistan, & its senior conservation experts Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari and Dr. Asma Ibrahim, leading the project.
SEAS Pakistan is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. The organization has been working at Frere Hall since 2018. The project is sponsored by the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) and SEAS Pakistan.
Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari, president of SEAS Pakistan is a leading expert of physical heritage of Sindh country; and Dr. Asma Ibrahim, the Secretary-General of SEAS Pakistan is an outstanding archeologist and museum expert, are dedicated to stabilize the historic structure.
During the visit, the US Consul General in Karachi met with the team to learn more about the important project. He also toured the building and saw the progress that has been made so far.
The rehabilitation of Frere Hall is a complex and challenging project. The building is over 160 years old and has undergone multiple massive jolts, caused by terrorist wrecked blasts, near to it. Besides years of neglect has compromised to safety. However, SEAS Pakistan is committed to restoring the building to its former glory.
The project is expected to be completed in 2025. Once it is completed, Frere Hall can be fully utilized, and shall continue to play its role on multi-purposed cultural center. It is certainly a valuable venue for art & culture loving people of Sindh.
SEAS Pakistan’s Work on Frere Hall
SEAS Pakistan has been working on the conservation & stabilizing the threatened old building, suffering from timber degradation, fire effected, weak elements and members in the turns and within its massive tower, as well as its fire spirlet, since few years. The project won the funding under Cultural Preservation Program (AFCP).
The first phase of the project involved stabilizing the building and repairing the structural damage. The second phase wooden features, including the doors & vintage floor upstairs, the mezzanine floor in the library, columns & hood of spirlet, (the weather van), cracked members of truss, unique wooden spiral staircase to mezzanine floor & vintage timber book shelves. The broken, missing and cracked stone features have been restored, most of these are on exterior of building.
SEAS Pakistan has worked closely with the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that the restoration project is carried out in a sustainable and responsible manner.
Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari and Dr. Asma Ibrahim
Dr. Lashari and Dr. Ibrahim have dedicated their lives to the preservation of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. They are passionate about the Frere Hall conservation project and are committed to restoring the building to its former glory.
It is the common resolve of the people of Sindh, SEAS Pakistan & KMC to help the icon building to play its role in the future and continue to inspire the heritage lovers to creative activates. This project will benefit the city of Karachi as well as the people of Pakistan.
The US Consul General in Karachi is happy to support the conservation of Frere Hall, it is part of a long-term efforts of the people of the United States to make positive contribution towards the project of public interest in Pakistan.