Vivekananda House & Museum The state government had leased this building Sri Ramakrishna Mission. It is an imposing structure on the Marina along the South Beach Road. It was constructed in 1842 to store ice blocks imported from the USA by the Tudor Ice Company and the business continued until 1874, when the ice began to be produced locally. This is why it is called Ice House. Later Bilagiri Iyengar purchased this building in 1885 and called it “Castle Kernon.”
In 1897 Swami Vivekananda visited this city and stayed in this historic building from February 6 to 15 in 1897 on his way to Calcutta, after his acclaimed speech at Chicago for the Parliament of Religions. The Government took over the building in 1930 and in 1963 it was named after Vivekananda. On the eve of his Centenary Celebrations, in 1999 the building was renovated and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu unveiled the sage’s statue on the 20th December 1999. Photographs depicting the historical happenings associated with his life and books about him and his own written works are on display and sold here in the Museum.