Saturday 24 October, 2020

National Trust ‘saddened’ at demolition of Belmont gingerbread house

Photos: The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.

Photos: The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.

The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago said it was saddened by the demolition of the ‘gingerbread house’ located on Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, adding that it had not been notified that work had commenced on the building.

The Trust issued a statement via its website on September 26 after photos circulated online showing the building being demolished.

‘The National Trust is saddened to learn that demolition of the uniquely designed ‘gingerbread house’, on Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, has commenced.’

The National Trust said it conducted a site visit of the building in 2018 in response to an enquiry from UDECOTT and advised that the building, located on the corner of Jerningham Avenue and Queen’s Park East, was suitable for restoration and adaptive reuse.

The Trust said: ‘It was noted that this historic property retained its original design and would be a strong addition to the gingerbread houses of Belmont that could be incorporated into a Belmont Heritage District.’

The Trust said the site is earmarked for offices under the Ministry of Health.

‘Unfortunately, work commenced on this historic site a few days ago, without any prior notification to the National Trust. These works began with the removal of the fence which protected the site. The Trust has since received several reports of persons trespassing onto the site, removing items, and causing damage to the building.’

The Trust said it is holding talks alongside Citizens for Conservation with UDECOTT and NH International (Caribbean) Ltd to ensure the site is properly secured to prevent further theft or vandalism.

The Trust said arrangements are also being made to photograph and record the building, as well as another site formerly used by the Medical Counselling Centre in the middle of the site, which would need to be removed to make way for the new office building.

The Trust is asking that in the interim, any members who have information about the history, design and construction of these buildings, can comment via their Facebook page (@ttnationaltrust) or contact the Trust at info@nationaltrust.tt 

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