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Monday 20 August 2018
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Speaker’s old house ‘on its last legs’

Speaker’s old house ‘on its last legs’

FALLING APART: The building at Mary Street, St Clair which was once home to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The building once used as the official residence for the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be standing on its last legs.

This according to Margaret McDowell chairman of the National Trust who said the building, approximately 100 years old, has been earmarked for demolition because it was not included on the list of properties to be preserved as part of the National Trust, along with the Magnificent Seven.

Located at 9 Mary Street, St Clair, it seemed prime property to be preserved and kept up.

McDowell said there have been conversations with Noel Garcia chairman of the Urban Development Company (UDeCOTT).

“At this point, we have to take him at his word (to preserve the house),” McDowell told Newsday. “Hope good sense shall prevail.”

McDowell said the house was zoned by Town and Country and Planning and its address was in the Jackson Square district. She described the house as an “icing cake”, tiny, but a home of class.

The last speaker who lived there, and was placed under house arrest by late prime minister Patrick Manning, was Occah Seapaul. “After the debacle, no other speaker wanted to go into the house. It was one of those horrible, funny things,” McDowell said.

She admitted there was a lot of work to go into restoration.

“It was in mint condition, just a coat of paint and some junk moved out. It is not a huge, palatial house with three bedrooms and it is not very useful for a government agency. It would do well for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) or OAS (Organisation of American States).

She said several of the residences in the area had been occupied by various embassies over the years. She said while there had been some renovations, nothing was taken away from the aesthetics. Several attempts to contact Garcia yesterday were unsuccessful.


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