CURB: Wantley House Should Be Saved

June 11, 2021 | 9 Comments

“Wantley is of significant architectural, cultural and social importance to African Bermudian life in the 19th and 20th centuries and should be saved for the long-term enjoyment and appreciation by the people of Bermuda,” the Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda said.

A spokesperson said, “CURB is disturbed to hear of the plans to demolish one of the last unique pieces of Black Bermudian architecture, culture and history, Wantley House on Princess Street, Hamilton.

“This beautiful building, recognized as one of the finest buildings in Hamilton, with a fascinating history, is owned by the Bermuda Housing Corporation.

“Built by African Bermudian craftsmen in the 19th century, Wantley is of significant architectural, cultural and social importance to African Bermudian life in the 19th and 20th centuries and should be saved for the long-term enjoyment and appreciation by the people of Bermuda.

“That the house has been sadly neglected for some time, demonstrates again the failure to understand the importance of preserving our heritage and the need to consult with the community before such dire actions are taken.

“This important and historical site of memory important to African Bermudians must not experience the same the same fate as the bulldozing of the Tucker’s Town Free Black Cemetery; or the extensive renovations of Lane School on East Broadway, which now no longer bears any resemblance to the historic tiny chapel and Black school built immediately after Emancipation.

“CURB plans to collaborate and work with groups and organizations to do the work necessary to save this important building, which is a testament to Bermudian artistry and craftmanship, in order to create an empowering site of memory and center of learning for the people of Bermuda.

“We believe the Bermuda Housing Corporation may be open to suggestions for restoration of the site and have already been in touch with them to hopefully meet.

“We are grateful to the advocacy of Maxine Esdaille who has alerted the community to its imminent destruction and for her outreach to the Bermuda National Trust Preservation Officer who is following up.

“We urge the public to express their concern and hope for this important site of memory by emailing the Bermuda Housing Corporation info@bhc.bm or email CURB at admin@uprootingracism.org.”

click here Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda

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Comments (9)

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  1. wahoo says:

    Saved? With who’s money? BHC should have saved it when it was worth saving. Instead they they renovated private properties that were later sold with no return of funds. That was (as we know) unethical buy not illegal. Curb, you have been around far too long to still be reacting to headlines, this is something you could have started raising funds for a long time ago. THE TAXPAYERS ARE BROKE.

  2. Sam says:

    Well raise the money to do something about it CURB. CURB are very good at noise, less good at action.

    You can’t blame the Government for wanting to pull down a condemned house.

  3. CURB is Disturbed says:

    Awww then CURB should pay to repair and manage the property. Problem solved!

  4. Put your money says:

    Where your mouth is. Shameful that it sat for years and Berkeley graduates did nothing to buy it,save it abd now they come crying like babies with CURE. Shameful. They had over 10 years to act. At this late hour it is too late. Shameful if they fail . But the lesson is to start early and have a financial plan to sustain it. They have neither and in spite if their first class education they have let down the founders. Shameful. Wake up.

  5. Toodle-oo says:

    “Wantley is of significant architectural, cultural and social importance”

    So is my grannie’s one bedroom old Bermuda farm cottage that’s 100 years older than Wantley but you can rest assured that Lynne would consider it irrelevant for some particular reason.

  6. sandgrownan says:

    Well, go fix it then it you’re so concerned.

    • trufth says:

      Or better yet, if it is so important to you, why have you let it get so rundown and ready for demolition? Can’t be that important to you.
      Buy it and do what you should have done before. What are you waiting for?

  7. Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

    CURB has offered their support in whatever way the organizers could use. That comment was not necessary. There are many others who also have offered support. If you dont like CURB that’s your business but dont use Wantley as your opportunity to spread negativity.

  8. Hard to believe says:

    Where were curb before all of this came to light? I have gone past this building several times over the past number of years and thought, what a beautiful building and what a tragedy that it’s decaying so rapidly. Where were the Berkeley alumni before this all came to light. How could any black government not realise the importance of such a fine piece of history and architecture. Shame on you all.

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