Established as Imperial Forest Research Institute in 1906, the Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun, was first located at Chandhbagh (the present location of the Doon School) on the Mall Road. A much larger campus at the present location was acquired ca 1923. Construction of the present buildings commenced thereafter. Styled in Greeko Roman Architecture by C.G. Blomfield, the main building was inaugurated in 1929 by then Viceroy Willingdon. It is now a National Heritage site.
FRI Dehradun is one of the oldest institutions of its kind and acclaimed the world over. The institute’s history is virtually synonymous with the evolution and development of scientific forestry, not only in India, but over the entire sub-continent. Built over a lush green estate spread over 450 hectares, with the outer Himalaya forming its back drop, the institute’s main building is an impressive edifice, marrying Greco-Roman and Colonial styles of architecture, with a plinth area of 2.5 hectares. The building was listed for a time, in the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest purely brick structure in the world. The institute has a developed infrastructure of all equipped laboratories, library, herbarium, arboreta, printing press and experimental field areas for conducting forestry research, quite in keeping with the best of its kind anywhere in the world. It is 7 km from Clock Tower, on the Dehradun-Chakrata motorable road and is of the biggest forest based training institute in India. Most of the forest officers are a part of this institute. The FRI’s building also houses a Botanical Museum