Categorized | National News

Pompey Square Is 70% Complete

The restoration of Venue House, which is home to the historic Pompey Museum, is 70 per cent complete and officials say they are making some modifications to it that will bring it into the 21st century.

The original museum was gutted by a fire back on December 3, 2011.

That fire also destroyed the Seaman’s Chapel, which housed the Balcony Nightclub.

And while officials never determined the exact cause of the fire, they were able to save 90 per cent of the historic artifacts from the museum – national treasures that stem from as far back as 1769.

Chief Coordinator of Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation Kim Outten-Stubbs said the Pompey Museum will have some new features.

“We are looking to reestablishing the museum and that entails creating an educational space so that children can come down to use the facility. On the second floor, we will have office spaces, a kitchen area for the staff but the entire ground floor will be dedicated to exhibits,” she said.

“We’re hoping to open the museum in 2013 with a temporary exhibit on the ‘Peter Moel’ – a slave ship that sank off the Lynyard Cay in the Abacos and we’ve had our archaeologist Michael Payton head a team that surveyed the remains of the ship. And later in 2014 we will have a permanent exhibition on slavery in The Bahamas.”

But the museum is not officials’ only focus.

Member of the Downtown Nassau Partnership Ed Fields said officials are spending $2.7 million to create Pompey Square.

The square will have features like a green space, pop-up water fountains, a sitting area, tower, gazebo, public bathrooms and a boardwalk that will lead out to Prince George Wharf.

He said officials are hoping that it will be a welcoming spot for tourists and residents.

“Unfortunately, we had fire that destroyed both Pompey and the Seaman’s Chapel. But as the Asians say out of crisis comes opportunity and as a result of that particular incident we were able to coordinate with people from Pompey and the Seaman’s Chapel to make a wonderful transformation of Bay Street,” Mr. Fields said.

He also gave a preview of other works to revitalise the nation’s city centre.

“Pompey really marks the beginning of a lot of things. Hopefully, in the next few weeks we are going to be testing out a new application to our streetscape namely paving the George Street area to become pedestrianised. We’ve already indicated to the tenants that they would need to have alternate parking, which they have done so and in some instances we have assisted,” he said.

“This will not take place until after the holidays because of Junkanoo.”

In addition, the Ministry of Public Works will be working to pave Bay Street all the way to Mackey Street in the near future.

The Pompey Square is expected to be completed in January 2013.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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