Murray St, woodbrook, trinidad, caribbean architecture

Architectural Visual Survey of Murray St. Woodbrook, Trinidad

Above is some very quick sketches I did for a visual survey along Murray St. in Woodbrook, Trinidad. In the nineteenth century, Port of Spain was a flourishing commercial center and by the 1830’s, demand for residential land led to the buying up of sugar plantation estates on the adjacent periphery of the city. A suburban expansion began…with a satellite Community of Woodbrook being developed for upper class suburbanites (Potter, 1989).

The large Woodbrook neighbourhood, west of downtown, formerly a sugar estate owned by the Siegert family, was sold to the Town Board in 1911 and developed into a residential neighbourhood, with many of the north-south streets named for the Siegert siblings. In the last twenty years the main east-west thoroughfares, Ariapita Avenue and Tragarete Road, have become almost entirely commercialised, and Ariapita Avenue west of Murray Street has become a relatively upscale dining and entertainment “strip”. A few small parks are sprinkled through the neighbourhood; Adam Smith Square and Siegert Square are the two largest (Port of Spain Final Draft Spatial Development Plan, 2010 – 2020).

The yards and gardens in front of the residences in Woodbrook make it very pleasant. The street patterns are reminiscent of the area’s history of sugar plantation estates. There are still some airy wooden houses from the colonial era with large jalousied windows and ornate fretwork on the gables and eaves, like this one.

References:

Urbanization, Planning & Development in the Caribbean by Robert B. Potter

Port of Spain Final Draft Spatial Development Plan 2010 – 2020 by the Port of Spain City Corporation

Have a great day!

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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