The Old Treasury Building Turns 125
March 20th, 2019 (St. Christopher National Trust): 2019 marks the 125th year since the Iconic “Old Treasury Building” graced the landscape of our beautiful country.
On March 21st 1894 the foundation stone for the building was laid by Lady Haynes-Smith, wife of the then Governor William Haynes-Smith for a two-story stone and iron building to house the government offices and the customs warehouse.
For the century and quarter that the building has been standing, it has recorded many historical events and life stories having been the hub of thousands of transactions and the main entrance into our historic city, Basseterre.
Labeled the “Gateway to St. Kitts”, the Old Treasury Building has withstood the test of time from hurricanes to floods to neglect. It continues to stand majestically, as a permanent fixture of our city’s landscape.
The Old Treasury Building became the home of the National Museum in 2002 after major repairs had been done to the building through the herculean efforts of the St. Christopher Heritage Society with the support of our corporate community, local citizens and international partners to the tune of EC $2 million dollars. The first exhibit was mounted that year.
Over the past 10 years, The St. Christopher National Trust has continued to build on the legacy of the St. Christopher Heritage Society by maintaining this magnificent structure. Between 2014 and 2018, the interior spaces were upgraded to provide for a better visitor experience. The building currently houses the National Museum of the first floor along with a Special Exhibit room and a screening room. The ground floor houses the heritage gift shop in the east wing and the Research and Documentation center and executive offices in the west wing.
As part of the 125th anniversary celebrations, a mini Special Exhibition will be mounted in the Archway of the building which examines the history of the building as well as the progress and transitions over the years. The exhibition features photographs and related vintage documents of the building from 1894 up to the present time.
The exhibition is open to the public from March 21st until April 30th 2019.