Photos: Govt Statement On Wantley House

June 11, 2021 | 6 Comments

[Updated with photos & video] The Ministry of Public Works said they wish to “advise of the present disposition of Wantley House located at 20 Princess Street, City of Hamilton.”

A Government spokesperson said, “Members of the public would be aware that the property has been in disrepair for many years and has unfortunately become a site for illicit drug use resulting in further damage from fires. Despite the Bermuda Housing Corporation frequently boarding up all the entryways to prevent illegal access and use of the building, the problem has persisted.

“In early 2020 the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation was working to repurpose the building and make it into their headquarters. However, following a fire in December 2020, a structural appraisal was required and has been carried out.

“The appraisal report advised that the building required a complete overhaul, including installing new plumbing and electrical, structural repairs, costly restoration work, and finishes inside and out. The estimated cost to bring the building up to code was $1.2-$1.3 million. The report further advised that it would be more cost-effective to demolish the structure and rebuild than carry out these costly renovations.

“While the building’s history was very much considered, in light of this information and the fact that the property was a health and safety issue for area residents and the adjacent Diabetes Association building, the Bermuda Housing Corporation made the difficult decision to demolish the structure.

“The proposed demolition was tendered and a permit granted. However, although the building is not Listed, its location in a Historic Protection Area requires planning permission to demolish. The Bermuda Housing Corporation must submit a planning application and seek approval to demolish the building.

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A Government spokesman said: “This is a historic location in Hamilton, and it is unfortunate that it cannot be restored to what it once was. However, the legacy of Samuel David Robinson and the importance of his contribution to the development of a lasting institution in Bermuda [The Berkeley Institute] will be honoured and preserved when the location is redeveloped.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Hashim says:

    The historic preservation of Wantley House is an essential way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations. These uniquely Bermudian stories need to be told and re-told.

  2. Ringmaster says:

    Do I understand this correctly? BHC has owned the building, apparently for many years. The PLP has been the Government since 1998 except for 2012-2017. The building is an important part of the black Bermudian Heritage. It has been allowed to fall into disrepair and needs to be demolished.

    So basically, the majority don’t care about their heritage until it is too late. Very sad because soon there won’t be any heritage, it’s been replaced by US Majorettes.

  3. Question says:

    The place is falling down.

  4. name says:

    nice well said

  5. History says:

    The place is run down and Gov has not completed their job of maintaining buildings. Just look at our schools For a PLP government/black government to erase a BIG part of black history that has impacted this country for centuries is unbelievable.

    No words to state how upset I really am.

    Do better PLP!

  6. Where are all of the says:

    Berkeley graduates all if these years as it sat there where was the Go Fund Me effort and other fundraisers. The building got worse. Now in disrepair . i
    It is best to knock it down rebuild and name it after Samuel David Robinson and put the photos and history up. You tkink the Association and Alumni could have that small part ready for the opening?

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