Demolition of ‘eye sore’ City Hall 70% complete

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Reconstruction of the iconic City Hall building is set to begin in the coming weeks as the contractor, Fides Guyana Inc. has demolished approximately 70 per cent of the neo-gothic styled building.

The City Hall building was once deemed “Victorian Exuberance in timber” but years of neglect left it in a dilapidated state and branded an eyesore.

On Tuesday, a team from the News Room met with the Project Manager, Ramnarace Somar at the construction site while workers were removing the final beam from the outside staircase.

Already, minor structures inside of the building have been demolished and according to Somar, the major inner walls are left to be removed. But this will take some time because of how thick the walls are.

“They are so thick that we cannot use heavy machines on it, we have to get lighter machines to break it piece by piece,” he shared with the News Room.

Project Manager, Ramnarace Somar (News Room/January 11, 2022)

“In two weeks time, our equipment will be in the country and then we will start from the outside and work from the top down to start construction,” the Project Manager added.

Somar took the News Room team to the upper flat of the building and the years of wear and tear were evident. Rotting wood, the dilapidated steps, and even an old piano were seen. The structure was incredibly shaky and much care had to be taken when stepping on the creaky boards.

But even with neglect, Somar shared that the old architectural style of the building was intricately done, some of the best he has seen in his years as an engineer.

The roof of the music hall (News Room/ January 11, 2022)

“The structure [of this building], those guys were really great…those days, you did not have electrical tools, everything was by hand and you can see that in the designs…they did a precise job,” Somar commented.

The neogothic-styled building was designed by architect Ignatius Scoles, and the foundation stone was laid by Governor Henry Turner Irving on December 23, 1887.

And now close to $780 million is being spent to restore it to its former glory, to greatly enhance the look and feel of the capital city, Georgetown.

When the building is complete, it would be utilised as a library and tourist site, per the recommendation of the European Union (EU).

The EU in 2016 conducted a feasibility study to the tune of $60 million to facilitate the restoration of the historic building.

The historic City Hall building is undergoing restoration (News Room/ January 11, 2022)
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