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Tuesday, September 26 2017 @ 06:57 AM AST

National Trust sad historic Sangre Grande building demolished

The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago (the National Trust) wishes to record its sadness that yet another demolition has taken place, ostensibly with the blessings of the State. The National Trust is fully aware of the balancing act between the preservation of heritage buildings and the inherent financial outlays particularly when they are left to deteriorate.

The construction of the Warden’s Office in 1909, signalled the rise to prominence of the town of Sangre Grande as a major service centre for the north and south-western agricultural regions of the island and the last stop on the train line, at the turn of the century. Despite neglect the building was sound and could have continued to play a significant role in serving and enhancing the town centre for another century. A clean-up campaign as this was billed to be, would have only needed to remove a tree, which had been allowed to grow into one side of the building.

The National Trust met with Chairman Rondon and his staff in June of 2015 after concerned citizens warned of threats to demolish the Post Office. At that time we undertook a tour of the Post Office and the other heritage buildings in the town centre, and had a long meeting outlining the process that needed to be followed regarding these buildings. Since then, the National Trust has continued to communicate with the Corporation, informing the Chairman that the National Trust had ‘Gazetted’ its intention to list the Post Office and the Warden’s Office.

The National Trust again wishes to commend the Concerned Citizens of Sangre Grande who spearheaded the clean-up and securing of the Sangre Grande Post Office Building despite opposition. The National Trust also wishes to applaud TTPOST who is working with the community to revitalise this building, which has been found to be structurally sound. The National Trust looks forward to the continued involvement of the citizens in the redevelopment of this landmark building so that it can contribute once more to Sangre Grande.

The National Trust calls on all arms of the State, property owners and citizens to ensure that our heritage buildings, monuments and sites are regularly maintained and secured so that our patrimony can be safeguarded. Demolishing buildings to make up for wanton neglect and disinterest is not a logical solution. The National Trust has visited all of the Corporations in the past two years and had just written last week, requesting meetings with all of them again to continue this dialogue.

The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago issues another invitation to all interested citizens to visit its website and Facebook page for further information on heritage preservation, to contact us directly as well as to become members of the National Trust.

When we destroy our natural and built environments, we also demolish the appropriate contexts for the cultural expressions of our people.

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