The Magnificent Seven

Perhaps you could fill me in, why do you want to live in a new house? I know they are (practically) maintenance free, but in my (oh so humble opinion) they lack soul. Ian and I are both in love with old houses. They have so much character. They are all individual, (just like people), everyone has something unique about them. The building materials are more luxurious, real wood floors, instead of laminate, plaster walls instead of drywall.  There my mini rant is over.

On my tourist map of Port Of Spain in Trinidad, there was something labeled the Magnificent Seven. As I continued my walk around Queens Park Savannah, a huge building appeared on the horizon. It was the first of the seven, Queen’s Royal college. 

 Built in 1902 in the German Renaissance style, it cost 15,000 pounds to build.

 It is the leading secondary school for boys in Trinidad.

Beside it is Hayes court which was built to be the residence of the Anglian Bishop.

It was named after Bishop Thomas Hayes when is was built in 1904, but he died before the building was completed.

Number 3 is called Millefleur (great name for a garden blog).

It was built in 1904 in French Provincial style. In 1979 the government of Trinidad and Tobago purchased it for $1,000,000, to be used as offices for the National Security council.

However it is not occupied and certainly not maintained. Such a shame,

look at the gorgeous iron fretwork.

At Number 4, is another French style house also built in 1904. On the map it is labeled Rumor, but when I researched it on line, it was called Roomor.

 The name comes from combining names of the owners, Roodal (who bought it in 1940) and the present day owners (Morgan).

It is still a private home.

The Archbishop’s Residence is number 5.

It is of Indian style, built in 1903 for the 5th Archbishop of Port of Spain. It is the official residence of the Roman catholic archbishop.

White Hall is the Prime Ministers office.

 Built of coral stone in 1904 and refered to as Moorish Mediterranean style,

 it is now closed for renovations. This was my favourite,

it reminds me of the houses near where I lived in Holland Park.

As is number 7, Stollymeyer’s Castle.

This house was patterned after a wing of Balmoral when it was built in 1904.  The owners wife Mrs. Stollmeyer found the house a bit busy, and gave it to her son and new daughter in law when they were married. The new bride called it Killarney, but in 1940, when the US Forces were using it as a base, they began to refer to it as a castle.

It is now part of the Prime Ministers offices, and undergoing renovations. They had the property all boarded up at street level

so I was only able to get a photo of the top.

Looks like the very early 1900’s were a very busy time in Port of Spain.  Can you imagine what it must have looked like with all of these houses being built at approx the same time?

32 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Edith Hope said,

    Dearest D, No, I cannot imagine living in a modern house, although when they are ultr-modern and have an architectural quality I can appreciate them….as long as another person lives in them! I have loved seeing the magnificent seven and do so hope that there is a movement to preserve these wonderful buildings rather than allow them to fall into ruin.

  2. 3

    We bought our historic gardener’s cottage and carriage house in 1983, and it is quite charming. But after 28 years of taking care of its charm, yes I can imagine living in a new house—it’s exhausting. I still love it though. Lovely tour of historic buildings.

  3. 5

    Marguerite said,

    I agree entirely but then our home is somewhere over 100+ years old so I’m biased! I can understand though that all some people see is work. My father visited last summer and he constantly pointed out the things to be fixed and the ‘need’ for updated fixtures. I think his perspective is simply more of a functional way of looking at things rather than seeing a house for beauty.

  4. 7

    Hanni said,

    I also love the character of old homes…they have such a wonderful quality. Unfortunately, my husband sees them as money pits, so I doubt we’ll ever be living in one! I certainly do enjoy them from afar though. 🙂

  5. 9

    Ours is new, but it is a one off, with character, and charm. When my nephew was here, for the first time, he looked around with big eyes, and asked, Are you sure I haven’t been here before? Makes me realise we have echoed the first house. Which was also a one off for us ;~)

    I love old houses, to visit, but I like to live in new, built to suit us. These houses must make you homesick for Kilbourne Grove?

  6. 11

    Holley said,

    I adore old homes, though I live in a new one. The old ones have such charm. But, in 100 years, perhaps someone will think my home has charm! 🙂 Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Makes me wish I could be there.

  7. 13

    ricki said,

    Ah, magnificent indeed! All houses: old, new, in-between, are work to properly maintain. If it is a labor of love, the work goes down easier…or else one could move into an apartment and just call the super whenever something needs to be done.

  8. 15

    Jennie said,

    Thanks for the tour of Port of Spain – those buildings are magnificent. When I went to Trinidad I was in the upside down Hilton and must admit I never ventured too far as there was a hurricane heading our way! I found Trinidad far too busy…..but loved Tobago.

    Our house here in England is only 40 years old but the maintenance is huge because it is quite a large property. When things start to go…..they all seem to go all at once. Thats why I prefer the garden 🙂

    • 16

      It is very busy Jennie, quite different from Barbados, reminded me of Toronto. Luckily after growing up on a farm, and living in both canada and Englands largest cities, I don’t mind either.

  9. 17

    patty said,

    Lovely walking tour of the 7. I certainly could imagine myself on the second floor of Millefleur standing outside on the balcony looking out to the street. As you pointed out the ironwork is wonderful. I too noticed the regular appearance of 1904. If you discover what was going on at the time I’d love to know.

  10. 19

    I love old houses, too, and I am blessed to live in my husband’s family home built in the 1850’s. Thank you for visiting my blog because now I found yours, and I love it.

  11. 21

    Love old, but hate the bills!

  12. 23

    The Queens Royal college caught my eye…stylish and grand…

  13. 25

    Harriet said,

    What sad pictures of a beautiful building – Millefleur. I have never lived in a new house. Our current one is a near 200 year old stone cottage with many recent additions. The best compliment that can be paid to my brilliant builder partner is that the new bits look like they’ve been there for years!

  14. 27

    debsgarden said,

    Such wonderful architecture! I have never lived in a new house, though there are times I have thought it would be nice to have a new house, but only if it looked old! My current house is the same age as me, which fortunately is not quite as old as the great structures you feature.

  15. 29

    Kiki said,

    Oh My…what a Gorgeous Gorgeous post…I so enjoyed this adventure…such beauty..wonderfully inspiring!My heart has been captured! Thanks for sharing this!
    Hope you are having a lovely day!

  16. 31

    Jess said,

    On the cane begonias – my mom and I have had some and for years (YEARS!!!) we just thought one of the begonias mutated 🙂 Mom’s which is older than mine (maybe 20 years) is about 20 feet tall and a wild thing. Besides hers and mine, I have never seen another.

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