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Hastings House receives seal of recognition

A refurbished Hastings House.

A refurbished Hastings House.

Another restored historic building, completed at a cost of about $2 million, has received the seal of recognition from the Barbados National Trust.

The 200 year old Hastings House, at Balmoral Gap, Christ Church, once the official residence of Governor Evan McGregor, has been rehabilitated for rental offices. Chairman of the National Trust’s Sentinel and Plaque Committee, Senator Professor Henry Fraser said Hastings House was one of about 10 buildings earmarked for restoration within the Bridgetown and its Historic Garrison.

Speaking at a ceremony to affix the seal of the trust on the Hastings House last Friday, Fraser said the colonial Governor lived in it for six years. He added that for about 10 to 15 years, it was largely abandoned, while for 30 years the building was a tourist shop for gifts and souvenirs.

“It is a most splendid, obviously 200 years of historic significance, the home of a governor for six years, the most important colonial governor; magnificently restored,” he revealed. The architectural historian explained that the National Trust plaque was a recognition of both its importance, historically, its aesthetic and cultural beauty and its architectural significance as one of the finest buildings in the island.

Fraser noted that trust also saw the economic feasibility of restoring such a house, as greatly improving the entire appearance of the community. He disclosed priority would be given to next restoring the building which housed the National Library on Coleridge Street, the City; the old Empire Cinema on Probyn Street; Culloden Farm, the former resident of the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow; and the former Glendairy Prisons.

“There is an enormous task for our Task Force For Preservation of Barbados World Heritage, which the Cabinet has appointed under the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley. We report to … Lashley and we will be launching a national campaign for preservation later this month,” announced the prominent historian.

He disclosed that the task force would be sourcing funding from various philanthropic entities for the restoration campaign. (EJ)

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