Tue | Oct 4, 2022

Letter of the Day | Redeveloping Downtown Kingston

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2022 | 12:09 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The idea of building a new structure to accommodate the National Museum of Sports at Independence Park is not in tune with the Prime Minister’s deliberate economic objective of being catalytic. In my opinion, it does not mesh with the goal of positioning Kingston particularly our capital district, downtown, as the cultural heartbeat of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Having the National Museum of Sports at Independence Park does very little in enhancing the status of the park. Instead, I believe, more energy should be spent on modernising the National Stadium to become a top-rated internationally renowned track and field venue – separate from football.

In addition, Stadium East should be redeveloped into a fully covered, modern National Football Field akin to any top English Premier League Club home turf.

Other efforts at Independence Park should include:

• Creating/maintaining a world-famous sculpture garden – a National Dignity Sculpture Gardens – for select Jamaicans who contributed, locally and internationally, to the performing arts/music and sports.

• Establishing an outdoor amphitheater – August 1962 National Amphitheatre – building a multilevel, paid parking lot (this would take up less land space for parking).

• Improving the parameter fencing, which currently looks terrible.

IDEAL LOCATIONS

Harbour Street, Downtown Kingston – across from the Jamaica Stock Exchange lies an unkempt lot with a historic building – is the ideal spot for a national sports museum.

Not to stray from the discussion, but as we move to reposition that part of downtown, how about transforming the historic J. Wray & Nephew building and the other buildings directly across from it into the National Museum of Jamaica – Mr Seaga’s thoughts. These buildings could be connected by an overhead walkway.

To the east, the current National Library and the building housing the Institute of Jamaica could be refurbished to become the National Museum of Caribbean Music & the Performing Arts.

Northwards, the old Jamintel building could be refurbished to become the Marcus M. Garvey National Library of Jamaica. The headquarters of the Institute of Jamaica could then be relocated to the building currently housing the Family Court on Duke Street.

A new justice complex to accommodate the Family Court, Traffic Court, civil branch of the Supreme Court, and Kingston Parish Court could be built on East Street, across from the Sutton Street Court House, which would then be designated as the future home of the Jamaica Court of Justice (JCJ).

MICHAEL BROWN