Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Falmouth's Georgian heritage under threat

Published:Wednesday | January 18, 2017 | 1:00 AMLeon Jackson
Falmouth courthouse.

Western Bureau:

The failure by stakeholders to show due regard for the law with respect to the protecting of historic buildings and sites is now a worrying concern in the town of Falmouth, Trelawny, whose Georgian architecture was declared a National Monument in 1996. In fact, some concerned stakeholders want the National Heritage Trust, which has a mandate to act as a custodian for the nation's many historic and cultural properties, to put an end to the disregard being shown for the town's designation as a heritage site.

"What is happening is a disgrace, and the National Heritage Trust needs to step in now," a businessman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Gleaner.

"I don't want to ruffle any feathers just yet, but if the National Heritage Trust won't act, we the concerned folks will have to do something."

In recent times, some buildings in the town have been renovated and now no longer reflect their original appearances. Three such buildings are the courthouse, which was built in 1817; the post office, which was constructed in 1832; and St Peter's Anglican Church, which has been significantly altered since it was declared a National Monument.

 

Losses

 

To add insult to injury, the town recently lost three buildings with Georgian architecture to fire, and persons concerned about the town losing its Georgian look want the authorities to ensure that the buildings are restored to reflect their original look.

"The Moulton House, which was destroyed by fire, is now an eyesore waiting to fall on either pedestrians or any vehicle passing by," a resident told The Gleaner.

During the rebranding of Falmouth as a top-flight cruise shipping destination, its Georgian architecture was used as one of its major selling points in terms of being an ideal location to attract visitors. However, with the current alteration and the town losing its trademark looks, there is now a fear that the town might lose its designation.