Two Islands One paradise - Beautiful St. Kitts and Nevis

   
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  Treasury Museum
 

 Treasury Museum

http://www.skyviews.com/stkitts/museum/index.html 
stkittsheritage

Building, monument, lighthouse, gateway to the world when the only access to this island was by the sea, this magnificent two-story stone structure is a fine example of 19th century Georgian-Caribbean architecture with its majestic arches and crowing dome which served as a light-house, guiding ships into the harbour. It is as impressive today as it was on March 21, 1894, when Lady Haynes-Smith laid the corner stone.

   On completion of the building several government departments, including the Administrator’s Office were moved from the Court House to the . Over the years many government offices including the Treasury, Audit, Supply, Customs, Inspector of Public Health Tourist Bureau and the Post Office have been housed in the . The building was vacated in 1996. The St. Christopher Heritage Society currently occupies part of the ground floor while the building is being restored for use as a National Museum. The cruise ship reception building on Port Zante, behind the Treasury, features a dome echoing that of the Treasury.

  For more than eight decades the building housed not only The Treasury, but the offices of almost every department of Government including the Colonial Administrator, the post office on the east side ground floor, and the Department of Tourism on the right. Over the years, the large open spaces on the upper floor were divided and subdivided into a warren of offices only rabbits could love. 

  In the late nineteen-eighties the building became an inconvenience. The offices had outgrown their space; Hurricane Hugo, among other tropical storms, devastated the structure. Major repair work was needed: Government did not have the funds. The building was eventually abandoned, some office furniture and old iron safes the only mementos, the residue of a hundred years of activity soaked into the walls and floors. What to do? 

 

The Building of a Dream

 

  The St. Christopher Heritage Society was formed in 1989 by a group of individuals concerned about the historic, cultural and environmental issues of the country. From its inception, years, in their cramped quarters above TDC Rentals, the members tried, in their own small way, to establish such a museum. Then, in 1996 Government, in the person of the Hon. G.A. Dwyer Astaphan, Minister of Tourism, approached The Heritage Society to help establish a Nation Museum in the Treasury Building, to supervise restoration and improvements on the building and to become the custodians of our National Treasures. A Memorandum of Understanding between Government and SCHS was finalized in 1999. The Heritage Society was given the responsibility of managing the to day to day operations of the building and museum, and was invited to move their offices to the ground floor where they are now situated.   
The task was daunting, 
a dream becoming reality.

  Imediately members were recruited to begin their labour of love and sweat. Engineers and architects from the community got together to analyze, measure, draw blueprints, demolish partitions, replace floors, evaluate tin ceilings, refurbish ornamental iron balconies. They found some of the original doors and windows of such high craftsmanship they would be impossible to replace. Eventually a budget was made and, thanks to Government’s need of the building in 1999 to celebrate Carifesta VII in 2000, monies were allocated to begin the work.
  Contributions from individuals, corporations, overseas  donors, indeed the world, slowly came in-not enough to complete the job, but enough to take the project to where the first phase of the museum could open to 
the public on May 31, 2002.

  The inaugural exhibition is housed in the east wing on the ground floor, with its entrance on the . Here you will see photos and artefacts depicting the stories of the Amerindians; of early European settlement days; a history of sugar on St.Kitts, the development of trade unions; the native flora and fauna; folk arts; and the country’s road to Independence. 

  Once the major work On the building is completed and additional trained staff is hired, permanent, as well as travelling exhibitions will be developed for the spacious upper floor rooms. There will be an art gallery including the works of many of our very talented local artists working in various media.

   St.Kitts has a rich and varied heritage. It is the Society’s goal to honor it, show it off and protect it. To do so, it needs more donations of artifacts from local and European sources whose private histories can contribute towards this goal. Additional contributions to enhance the visualization of our heritage are always greatly appreciated, as are funds for acquiring professional museum lighting and quality exhibition hardware.

Formerly known as The St. Christopher Heritage Society (SCHS), the St. Christopher National Trust (SCNT) is a national, non-governmental, voluntary organisation established in 2009 by an Act of the National Assembly, our Federal Parliament.
Also affectionately known as the St. Kitts National Trust, its mission is to preserve and promote the natural, historical, ecological and cultural heritage of the island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts).

 
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