By Express News Service
CHENNAI: The American Center Chennai, housed inside the US consulate building, has now a special corner dedicated to the city’s famed historian, S Muthiah.
Muthiah is one of the founders of Madras Day, said US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin.
This comes after the US Consulate General launched its Madras Week celebrations with a virtual tour titled ‘America in Chennai — Sites, Streets, Structures’, organized by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) in collaboration with the University of Madras.
Ravin joined Indian Fulbright-Nehru alumnus Professor Suresh Sethuraman on the virtual tour. The Fulbright Program, the US Department of State’s flagship international exchange program, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
During the anecdote-filled lecture, Prof Suresh Sethuraman, an Archeologist and Architectural Historian, shared unusual and fascinating facts about Chennai’s historic links to America.
According to Prof. Suresh Sethuraman: “Chennai boasts of several sites, streets, and structures that have strong ‘America’ connections – the St. Mary’s church within Fort St. George where Elihu Yale of Yale University fame got married in 1680, the Ice House on Kamarajar Salai where ice from Massachusetts was stored in the 19th century, the YMCA building opposite the Madras High Court built with financial aid from the US in 1900, to name only a few.
“Information about these connections are available in archival records in the United States and in Chennai. This is a good occasion to recall and celebrate these little-known links. The local government authorities and the owners/custodians of these structures/sites could consider putting up appropriate signages highlighting these unique historic connections for the benefit of local citizens, researchers, and tourists,” he added.