National Trust salvages relics from demolition for public

The old gingerbread house at Jerningham Avenue, Belmont. - SUREASH CHOLAI
The old gingerbread house at Jerningham Avenue, Belmont. - SUREASH CHOLAI

The National Trust has been able to salvage two truckloads of items from two demolished buildings on Jerningham Avenue and Queen’s Park East.

The old Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) building on Jerningham Avenue, Belmont and a colonial building that once housed the Centre for Communicable Disease, on Queen's Park East, were demolished to make space for the new Ministry of Health headquarters.

Newsday spoke on Tuesday to Margaret McDowell, chairman of the trust, who said people can register at the trust ( to collect pieces from these buildings.

The PAHO building was raided by scavengers when the gate was taken down. That raid and rain destroyed most of the building.

Contractors from the National Trust went into the second building on Queen’s Park East and removed items such as doors, crown moulding, fretwork, stairways and cedar columns.

Not many pieces of encaustic tiles, which are patterned tiles made of different kinds of clay that fit together to make another bigger pattern, were salvaged from the building. In a previous interview, McDowell cautioned that the floors and tiles could have been broken during removal.

Some of the Canadian pitch pine floors were recovered in decent condition and acquired by a donor, but the rest of the floor was in shards and is not available to the public.

So far, ten people have registered to see the pieces and McDowell is anticipating more people registering coming closer to the weekend.

Registration costs $100. When those interested view and choose, they make a further donation to the trust. The original $100 will be subtracted from the final cost of any pieces they acquire.


"National Trust salvages relics from demolition for public"

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