The Red House (Parliament Building) in Trinidad & Tobago, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, sletchblog

The Red House (Parliament Building) in Trinidad & Tobago

This is a sketch I did of the Parliament Building of Trinidad & Tobago, (also called The Red House) which faces Woodford Square in the Capital city of Port of Spain. It was painted red for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and has since remained this way. It is an absolutely beautiful building, taking up a city block. This is a sketch of the shorter side of the building, from Hart Street. I sat below the National Library and drew this. It is currently in poor shape since renovations have been going on for almost a decade. The Government recently decided to relocate Parliament out of the building within the next few months, so that the restoration project can be completed. I believe completion is carded for 2013. I have no doubt that a fantastic job will be done. This building, along with many others historic buildings in the city needs to be brought back to its glory.

Daniel Meinerts Hahn, from Germany, was the architect of Red House in Port of Spain, the second government building to bear this name. The first Red House, painted red for Queen Victoria’s 1897 Diamond Jubilee, was gutted in the 1903 Water Riots and rebuilt and again painted red in 1907. The design is somewhat French Renaissance in character, showing a loose kinship to Pavillon Richelieu at the Louvre, with Corinthian/composite columns and pilasters, round-head and segmental arches, and fluted jambs. Red House has pavilions at the ends and at the center; the central pavilion is taller and open vertically from floor to dome. It has a groined dome roof, balustrade, cupola, and French Renaissance dormers. There was some damage to the building in the July 1990 coup attempt.

Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain

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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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