Gems from the Archives – 38 Before National Bank

Taken some time in the 1980’s this image highlights the changing face of Basseterre.  The white house has been replaced by the main building of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank. The brown building, formerly the home of Sir Maurice Davis, is now the bank’s parking lot.  The difference between what is there now and the old wooden houses is stark. All around the square there have been dramatic changes.

Most of Basseterre was burnt to the ground in 1867 by a fire that started on the western side of Independence Square, then called Pall Mall Square.  This was not the first time a fire had destroyed the town.   Fortunately fires since then have only taken individual buildings.

Perhaps, the question that this raises is how best to preserve the character of the town and still provide for a modern and safe business environment.  It is a dilemma we should confront with a great deal of informed thought if we want to be considered a heritage destination.