BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OLD TREASURY BUILDING The present building was completed in 1894, replacing a wooden structure which also had an archway through which people arriving and leaving the island would pass leading to the building being referred to as ‘The Gateway to Basseterre’.
This building has served several generations of public servants as almost every department of Government has at one time been located in it.Inappropriate maintenance and a series of hurricanes between 1989 and 1999 left the building in a terrible state of disrepair. In 1999 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government and the St. Christopher Heritage Society which would lead to efforts of restoration and its conversion to a National Museum. The old Treasury Building, now the National Museum, remains one of the largest public buildings in the town of Basseterre.
In 2002, the National Museum opened its doors for the first time in the east wing of the ground floor of the partially restored building. By 2005, restoration of the building had advanced enough to allow the exhibitions to be expand and move to the first floor occupying the three central rooms leaving the vacant ground floor room for a Gift Shop. By 2006 another room had been sufficiently restored to open a Museum Office. In 2008, there was a rearrangement and expansion of displays and a special exhibition commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Independence was mounted.
The establishment of a National Museum has great significance in the development of a Nation, especially in a newly independent country that is trying to forge an identity and foster national awareness and pride among its citizens.
A good effort!
Enjoyable and informative.
Very colourful and interesting.
I truly love the knowledge.
Very good – learned much.
Very good for visitors.
Good overview of island’s history.
What an amazing experience today has been – thank you, I’ve learned a lot!
- SOME COMMENTS MADE IN THE VISITORS BOOK AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM