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The restoration of the over 200-year-old historical landmark, Government House, is currently underway.
The project is being managed by The Heritage Trust Antigua and Barbuda (HTAB) Inc. The 2-acre property is being transformed into a cultural heritage site, providing a unique experience for both locals and visitors.
The restoration work is being carried out by C G Construction M W Pro Design and Homes That Last, with the second phase of the project slated for a West Wing completion by May 2024.
The project is guided by a Master Plan developed by HTAB Director Gabrielle Howell.
The West Wing, which is the oldest known surviving slave quarters in the Eastern Caribbean, will comprise a small conference and event room, a souvenir/gift shop, café, restaurant, toilets, and art gallery-cum-museum space.
The art gallery will showcase over 50 pieces of repurposed paintings, including a collection of Royal Portraits of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, King George V, and Queen Mary.
The cultural hub will offer tours for students, residents, and visitors to view both permanent displays and temporary exhibitions and will continue to house the official office of the Governor General.
The restoration of the entire property is targeted for December 2024 and is dependent upon donations and grants for its execution.
The project’s overall objective is to restore the site and appreciate the rich history of both Government House and its environs.
The third phase of the project will cover content generation, and the Museum of London Docklands will be engaged in the curation of the museum. Two representatives from this establishment will be traveling to Antigua and Barbuda this month to commence work.
Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams, noted that the HTAB was committed to sourcing a further $2.3 million US dollars to meet the immediate goals of the project.
He added that meticulous strategic planning by the Board has allowed for self-sustainability, which will guarantee the upkeep of future operations. Government House was included on the World Monuments Worldwide Watchlist of 2018, globally earmarking this building as one of the special properties deserving of preservation.
In 2016, Government House had also been registered as a LEED project for that particular year.