Tollinton Market, today nevertheless a shadow of formerly outstanding structure, is located to the east of the Lahore Museum, crossways Punjab Public Library Road. This structure was built to hold the first significant showcase of Punjab’s arts and trades. This structure is of great importance in tracking the urban history of Lahore.
In 1864 as an outcome of the industrial revolution of the 1850’s, a drive started in the Punjab for emerging local arts and trades. Later, it was decided to arrange the First Punjab Exhibition in Lahore. To show huge number of display, a special building, now known as Tollinton Market, was constructed in the neighborhood of the famous Anarkali Bazaar. While Mr. Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E. was supervisor of the Museum, Bhai Ram Singh designed the building. The structure was completed in 1894, and all the collections were instantly shifted in it.
Sir Robert Montgomery was the person who opened the exhibition in January 1864. In May 1864 it was changed into a Central Museum. Old central Museum was shifted to this building in 1893. While in 1895 Sir Ganga Ram the Chief Engineer of that time, repaired the building as it was going to convert into a municipal market.The Building was refurbishes in 1920 and named Tollinton after H.P. Tollinton, Secretary Punjab Government. It is not confirmed whether the name was Tollinton or Tollington.
The site nominated formerly must have remained part of the garden adjacent the Wazir Khan Pavilion, which was later, converted into the Punjab Public Library. It was on these large gardens where Ranjeet Singh went camping when he came to apprehend Lahore 200 years ago.
The original building, exhibited after the prevalent bungalow design, utilized surrounding galleries with italic tiled roofs stayed on simple wooden columns. The main exhibition hall, with a length of 112 feet designed above the gallery roof. It has leaning roof with gable ends, displaying an array of dormer windows for transporting natural light into the hall.
Two square towers designed 12 feet over the roof of the main hall, complementing the natural light incoming the central portion of the hall. The front was designed to direct the wooden structure of the structure consisting of posts and an italic roof made with wooden ties, while within brick, walls were used to support the ties. To commence an impression of limitless space, these walls were interrupted by an assembly of pointy arch openings, around which it exhibits in the form of stalls, were settled.
For decades, it aided the city well as a market, cooperative small stalls carrying a variety of daily supplies. This Building is recently rehabilitated and was welcomed by the conservationists.