During 1759, Jaques Salignac applied for a grant of  500 acres of land  for cotton and coffee cultivation. He was granted  permission by the Court of Policy. Salignac named this tract of land La Bourgade. In 1807 Thomas Cumming, a Scotsman, became the owner of the estate and renamed Plantation La Bourgade  Cummingsburg, after his family, it was  a town two miles in circumference and most regularly arranged.

 A special feature of  Cummingsburg was the provision of fresh water reservoirs. these were filled with small fish and were later planted with Victoria Regia and Lotus lillies by Luke M. Hill. The reservoir in Main Street was filled up and converted into a walkway in 1897. It was named the Queen Victoria Promenade by the Mayor and Town Council in honour of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee (this area is now known as Main Street Avenue). In later years other reservoirs were converted into similar walkways.

In 1864 the western part of  Cummingsburg was destroyed by fire. The creation of new streets  and redistribution of house lots were several  of the  plans undertaken to reorganize the destroyed area. 

An examination of the nomenclature of this ward of the city reflect rich examples of Guyana's history. Some Streets such as Waterloo Street; named after Admiral Wellington's great battle and Victory at Waterloo against the French forces on 18 June 1815 and Carmichael Street; named in honour of General Hugh Lyle Carmichael who served as Governor 1812 - 1813 are indicative of our colonial heritage. Quamina Street (formerly Murray Street named in honour of Major General John Murray) was renamed in honour of one of Guyana's national heroes.

Other streets derived their names simply from geographic locations to buildings or places.  Thomas Street derived its name from its location as the main road to Plantation Thomas.  East Street on account of its easterly location in this ward. Cummings Street was formerly known as the back dam (Cummingsburg Backdam) of Plantation La Bourgade. Middle Street also derives its name on account of being the middle dam of Plantation La Bourgade. Lamaha Street was so named because of its northerly direction with main drainage trench of the district. New Market Street simply because it led to the new market. Church Street as it was the primary route used by citizens for access to St. Georges  Church.

Yet    another    elegant    wooden    building The Ministry of Finance that was formerly the head office of the Transport and Harbours Department.




The Prime Minister's Residence is a good    example of the mid- nineteenth century wooden architecture, with its   Italianate influence; characterized by the square cupola at the top and    the portico below it. This building was once the    residence of the British High Commissioner.



State House, formerly known as  Government    House dates back to 1858.  It was   the residence    of the Governor General and in 1970, the country’s   first   president Mr. Arthur Chung resided there.    This building is a collection of additions but there   are    a few    distinctive   characteristics   such as    the Georgian six paned windows and the                    ‘ Demerara windows.’

The Walter Roth  Museum of Anthropology, is housed  in an  elegant wooden building named in honor of an Englishman, who  laid the foundation    of    our research into  Amerindian Life and    folklore.  The building, which was  once the   residence of Duncan Hutson, an eminent Barrister   and legislator,  now houses an interesting collection   of artifacts and relics of Amerindian culture. 



The Church of the Sacred Heart, constructed of wood was built by    Father    Schembri, an Italian.  A    fine   example of renaissance architecture, the church was  constructed    during 1859 – 1861    and    was opened    at     midnight    mass   on  25 December 1861. 



The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, formerly known as Avery House  was the headquarters of the  Bauxite   Industry   of   Guyana  prior to the creation of this Ministry.   Demerara windows and wooden    shutters   are noteworthy architectural details of this building.



The National Library, previously the Public Free Library was built in 1909.  Andrew    Carnegie; a   Scottish born American industrialist and   philanthropist provided    financing   for   the construction   and furnishing of the building.  The building once housed the Economic Science, Anthropological and Historical sections of the Museum. In 1951, the Museum  was relocated to its present site and the Library took over   the entire building.


The Cenotaph, dedicated to Guyana’s   soldiers who died in service during the wars of 1914 - 1918,  1939- 1945. The Government built the  monument through    public subscriptions. On the day of the 9th anniversary of the declaration of war with Germany    Saturday,   14 August    1923,    Governor   Graeme Thompson unveiled it.  Mr. E. G. Wool ford, Chairman  of the War Memorial Committee, handed it over to the acting Mayor Joseph Gonsalves, as its future custodians on behalf of the city of Georgetown. 


 Guyana Stores is the   largest chain of stores in Guyana. Housed inside are a cornucopia of items ranging from craft to clothing. Prior to nationalization in 1970, the building was known as Bookers Universal.



Other fine examples of traditional colonial style architecture of timber can be observed in   the Colgrain    House,    now   the Official    Residence    of    the Secretary General of the Caribbean Commonwealth Community.








Next to it is the Georgetown Club, which was home to the crème de la crème of society in the colonial era.




Plaza Cinema was  the first theatre  in British Guiana. It was built  in 1913. This was the scene of many concerts and a house for theatrical displays in the 1930's by musicians and comedians of the era.



Cara Lodge now a hotel was known as Woodbine House. This is  another example of  Georgetown's elegant    wooden architecture.  This was once   the home  of  George  Anderson  Forshaw.  The   yard  contains a  Sapodilla   tree    that   was planted by the Prince of  Wales, later Edward VII, on a visit to the colony. 


Yet   another   example of an  elegant wooden building is Moray House. Located at the corner of Camp and Quamina Streets this house exhibits the utilitarian Demerara Windows, a distinctive characteristic of Georgetown's  unique architecture.

The Radha Krishna Mandir a Hindu Temple provides an example of the  architectural influence of the east. This is   evident   by the many spandrels and statuettes depicting gods and religious notions above the main facade of the temple.


Design & Graphics (GO INVEST),  this  intricate wooden building with its widow's walk   was designed by H.O. Durham. It was constructed     circa  1925  and purchased by E.C.V. Kidman. Subsequently,    it  was  bought by the popular cricketer, John A. Browne,  in 1937 and Frederick    Kerry    in   1945. In  1974 Neville Hubert King acquired it and sold it to    the  Government of Guyana in 1979. In 1985 the Office of GO INVEST was established. 



The Promenade Garden. In August 1851, the Town Council made a decision to create a public promenade for the relaxation of the public.  Housed   in    the   compound of the gardens are several monuments such as the bandstand, the oldest in the city and   the    statue   of    Mahatma  Ghandi. A range of flora complements the surreal surroundings.




The Independence Park, there  is a  sordid history here as slaves were once hanged in this area   for their participation  of the 1823 rebellion. This area was once joined to what is now the Promenade Garden and was used by the British Military forces for rehearsals and other recreational activities.


Another highlight of the city’s landscape is the Christ Church, which was established in 1836,    as   a result of disagreements between the congregations  of the St.  Georges Cathedral. The present   church   has  a  slight    resemblance  to  the    second St. Georges cathedral, which was built in 1842.



The Office of the National Trust, which was established in 1972 to preserve buildings    and    sites of historic or national interest. Many   vernacular    features,    predominantly     the ‘Demerara    Windows’ and     the   ‘Georgian     six     paned windows' characterize the building.


The Philatelic Museum,   This     former branch of the Post Office of Guyana was established in 1860 and was closed in 1962 when the Post Office Training School was opened. The building currently houses an Internet Cafe and Post Office operated by the Guyana Post Office Corporation. 




The Georgetown Public Hospital occupies 1-½ blocks, it is bordered by Lamaha Street, Thomas Street and Middle Street. The hospital's  oldest section, the Seamans Ward, was first built in 1838. today this hospital is managed by the Ministry of Health and provides a variety of health services to Guyanese free of cost.


The   Locomotive Sheds  was  the main station building of the oldest    railway in South America, which opened for service in 1847.    The railway reached Mahaica in 1864 and  eventually   reached   Rosignol    on   the   Berbice River, about 59 miles     from Georgetown    in    1900. It also operated    on   the West Coast   of   Demerara and the   East   Coast    of   Essequibo    from Vreed  en  Hoop  to Parika. The    railway    was curtailed by  half   in   1970   and   the   entire system was scrapped by 1971.It is presently leased by The Guyana Power and Light Inc.

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