Built Heritage: Former Parks Department Headquarters, Botanical Gardens
BUILT HERITAGE: July 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust
This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings.
Surely, in the 21st century, a solution can be found to the problem of old buildings affected by mould and mildew. Rather than simply abandoning and subsequently demolishing them, they should be revitalised and made useful again. A good example is the Parks Department headquarters in the Botanical Gardens – a Grade 3 Listed Building – formerly the Director of Agriculture’s residence.
Under the Public Garden Act 1896, ten acres in Paget East were purchased for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an experimental station to assist farmers in the development of agriculture and horticulture. Responsibility for its supervision and control was handed over to the Board of Agriculture and George Arthur Bishop, recommended by the Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, arrived in May 1898 to take up his position as its first superintendent. A notice for tenders to build a cottage within the grounds had only been advertised a few weeks earlier so it is not surprising that Bishop and his family were obliged to live temporarily at nearby Seabright.