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Sunday, November 16, 2008

New York Times on the Boissiere House

IN the evening, when the heat breaks and a walk around Queen’s Park Savannah — the sugar-estate-cum-public-park here — becomes a reasonable proposition, the visitor is struck by the diversity of architecture along its perimeter, where commercial buildings sit incongruously amid Victorian structures. Even the Magnificent Seven, a row of famous colonial buildings including a French Baroque mansion and a castle inspired by the one at Balmoral, in Scotland, represent a random assortment of styles, in various states of repair.

But perhaps no building on the Savannah is more emblematic of Trinidad’s chaotic history than the Boissiere House, a 1904 cottage as majestic as any of the mansions and a rare example of turn-of-the-century Trinidadian architecture.

New York Times, November 13th, 2008
In February of this year, I wrote on the Boissiere House , speculating on whether corporate Trinidad and Tobago could not find money in their growing year-on-year profits to save just one bit of local history.

The New York Times' David Shaftel picked up the story of the House in their November 13th print edition, with online version of the story under the caption, "In Trinidad, a Painted Lady in Distress."  The piece includes a gallery of images of the house and other historic Port of Spain houses, some restored and at least one in a grave state of disrepair.

According to the article, the building is still up for sale, but:
...the National Trust was trying to discourage the owner from selling to someone who would knock it down, and that the owner has been “cooperative.”
My own call to corporate Trinidad and Tobago remains.  Can we still save this and the other architectural gems across the country?

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