Posts Tagged ‘queens park savannah’

Sagicor, POS, Trinidad-sm

6” x 8.5” Pen, ink,  and Sharpie in Ryman sketchbook

I am in Trinidad for a few days and I felt the nostalgia of my time sketching the wonderful buildings in Port of Spain. I passed by the Sagicor Building and wanted to sketch it again. It’s a beauty!

Thinking Insomniac



Hayes Court, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, architecture, port of spain, trinidad

Hayes Court, Trinidad

9” x 12” Strathmore sketchbook, ink pens, & Sharpies

This is a sketch of Hayes Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the second of four sketches I have done thus far of the ‘Magnificent Seven (a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah). Hayes Court is after the Queen’s Royal College. This building was completed in 1910 by the firm of Taylor Gilles at a cost of £15, 700. It was named “Hayes Court” after Bishop Thomas Hayes, who was the second Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago.

Hayes Court, Trinidad, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac

Hayes Court, Trinidad - Photo by Vernelle Noel

Architecturally it reflects a combination of the quiet graciousness of the French and English country house design, with its high ceilings, mahogany staircase, wrought-iron fretwork, and wood paneling. Iron fretwork and a beautiful porte cochere or coach doorway are features of this classic mansion.

Today, July 27th, is the 21st Anniversary of the attempted coup on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in 1990. Led by Abu Bakr, the Jamaat al Muslimeen invaded The Red House (seat of the country’s parliament), and took the Prime Minister hostage, along with members of his cabinet, government and opposition MPs, and others – some seventeen in all. About 24 people died during the coup attempt, with millions in property losses. More here >>

Our Republic forever changed on that day. Our Capital City of Port of Spain, had to be rebuilt as buildings were burned, and looted. Very often I feel that as a nation, our appreciation of our history leaves much to be desired. I see it in the way we treat our historic buildings, our national heroes, and our award-winners, to name a few. This day of July 27th should never be “just another day.” We must never forget what occurred on this day, and I would like to see a stronger expression of our commemoration of this day.

I believe July 27th should embrace six major principles (adapted from the United Nations Statement of Commitment adopted for Holocaust Memorial Day):

  1. The July 27th, 1990 attempted coup shook the foundations of Trinbagonian democracy and civilization. Its horror should always hold meaning.
  2. The July 27th, 1990 attempted coup must have a permanent place in Trinbagonians’ collective memory.
  3. Future generations must understand the causes of the July 27th attempted coup and reflect upon its consequences.
  4. The sacrifices of those who lost and risked their lives to protect or rescue victims are a touchstone of the Trinbagonian capacity for good.
  5. Education and research about the July 27th attempted coup must be promoted.
  6. An annual July 27th Memorial Day should take place to commemorate this human tragedy and condemn violence, lawlessness, and indiscipline.

Reference: As Time Goes on It’s Vital We Never Forget One of the Darkest Times in World History by Dan Cohn-Sherbok

“Memorials are important because they act as historical touchstones. They link the past to the present and enable people to remember and respect the sacrifice of those who died, fought, participated or were affected by conflict(s).”

Abstract Architecture for the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel3.5″ x 5″ Strathmore Sketchbook, ink pens and Sharpies

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

Queens Royal College, Trinidad, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, sketch, architecture, urban sketchers, caribbean

Queens Royal College, Trinidad

9” x 12” Strathmore sketchbook, ink pens, & Sharpies

This is a sketch of “The Main Block” of Queen’s Royal College (QRC) in Trinidad. This is one of four sketches I did on Tuesday. QRC is a bastion of secondary education for boys in Trinidad. The Main Block is so called because it was the first structure on the site, complete with a double row of broad galleries, clock-tower and chiming clock. It is one of the architectural “jewels in the crown” of Port of Spain; one of the ‘Magnificent Seven,’ which is a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah. These were built to flaunt the wealth of the early 20th-century cocoa barons and other notables, all dating from 1904.

QRC, vernelle noel, thnking insomniac


QRC, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel


In my sketch, if you look carefully you will notice that the left and right facades at the ends are different. See photos above. I do not know how they ended up being different, but I find the quirk quite attractive, and very interesting. I would love to know about this. Previous Post on the QRC Clock Tower >>

Abstract Architecture for the day:abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architect

Creative Commons License

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

Queens Royal College, trinidad, sketchblog, thinkinginsomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, caribbean

Queen's Royal College Clock Tower in Port of Spain, Trinidad

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

This is a sketch of the Clock Tower of Queen’s Royal College (Q.R.C.) in Trinidad & Tobago (see photo below). The clock tower stands at 93 feet tall. QRC is located at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Maraval Road in Port of Spain (around the Queen’s Park Savannah). The foundation stone for the building was laid on November 11, 1902 by Sir Courtenay Knollys. The design was done by Daniel Meinerts Hahn who was at the time the Chief Draftsman of the Public Works Department. The main block of the masterpiece is in a German Renaissance-style architecture which is evident by its solidness and ornateness. It was constructed at a cost of 15,000 pounds. The broad galleries and corridors were designed to allow the freest possible passage of air for physical comfort. The stonework was heavily employed in the construction to absorb the heat.

Reference – A Magnificent Nine by the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago

Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain, Trinidad, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, sketchblog, architecture

Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Some notable graduates of QRC include:

  • Eric Eustace Williams – Historian, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Sir Vidia Naipaul– Nobel-prize winning author. QRC is memorialised in his masterpiece, A House for Mr. Biswas.
  • Rudranath Capildeo – Mathematician, politician.
  • C.L.R. James – Pre-eminent Caribbean philosopher, historian, novelist, essayist, political theorist and cricket writer.
  • Derek Walcott – Nobel Prize winner, Poet, playwright, writer and visual artist.
  • Lloyd Best – Economist, essayist, politician, scholar. Founder of the ‘Plantation school’ of Economics.
  • Peter Minshall – Artist, Trinidad carnival mas man, designer of opening ceremony for the Olympic Games of Atlanta 1996, Emmy Award Winner.
  • Wendell Mottley – 1964 Olympic silver medalist and politician. Former Minister of Finance.
  • Deryck Murray – West Indian wicket-keeper in cricket.
  • Karl Hudson-Phillips – Jurist, politician. Former judge of the International Criminal Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Richard Thompson – Athlete and 2008 Olympic medalist – 100m; 4x100m relay
  • Marc Burns – Athlete and 2008 Olympic medalist – 4x100m relay
  • George Maxwell Richards – Engineer, academician, current President of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Eric A. Williams – Geologist, former politician and Minister of Energy.

The building recently underwent a restoration. During the restoration process, paint was carefully stripped to uncover the original colors, revealing in the classrooms, hand-painted dado panels in different designs, framed by stenciled and hand-painted border friezes. These original panels will be restored to their original splendor in selected areas. External colors have also been restored to the original colors.

Reference – Strabon – Caraibes

Features of Renaissance Buildings:

  • Symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors
  • Extensive use of Classical columns and pilasters
  • Triangular pediments
  • Square lintels
  • Arches
  • Domes
  • Niches with sculptures

The Renaissance was a period of intense intellectual probing, of the reexamination of Classical literature, art, and architecture. The Renaissance artist-architect shared in this curiosity. Beginning with Brunelleschi, architects made the pilgrimage to ancient Rome, then a sleepy medieval town greatly shrunken from its imperial grandeur, to study and measure Roman ruins. They proposed to equal or surpass the artistic achievement of antiquity, but not to make literal copies of ancient architecture.

Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning by Leland M. Roth

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

sagicor, life of barbados, port of spain, trinidad, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Sagicor Building in Port of Spain, Trinidad

6” x 8.5” Pen, ink,  and Sharpie in Ryman sketchbook

I did this sketch of the Sagicor Building around the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad yesterday. If memory serves me right this building did not have ACP Panels on its facade years ago. How recent this was done, I do not know, but it looks good. The building has always been a place of note in Port of Spain, a landmark.

Last night I spoke with my friend (and family) Bob for the first time in months…and I am just happy! Happy for his perseverance, hard work, and determination. He has contributed to the person I am today…and the source of some of the heartiest laughs I have had in my life. A man with admirable integrity, and a gifted story-teller. If heaven is filled with people like him, the angels are partying everyday. Cheers to you Bob, for not giving up despite the many challenges and obstacles.

Enjoy your day everyone… and here’s to not giving up.. Hip Hip.. Hooray!!!

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