National Trust of Guyana

Cara Lodge

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Location: South Cummingsburg, Georgetown

Classification: Residential

Period/ Year Built: Circa 1840

Historical Background / Description:

Cara Lodge is located at Lot 294 Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown. The property was owned by the Meservey family, and it was this family that built two structures, circa 1840, one for themselves and the other for their servants. During the latter part of the 19th century, the property, with the two buildings was sold to Mr. George Anderson Forshaw, the first Mayor of Georgetown. While Mr. Forshaw served as Mayor, the two buildings were joined to each other and transformed into his office where most of his social activities were conducted. One of the most influential visitors to the property during the early 20th century was Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, while he was in the colony.

By 1950, the property was under the ownership of Reverend and Mrs. Henderson and later, Dr. Jabez and Mrs. Dorothy Taitt. It was under the Taitts that the building rose to prominence. Mrs. Dorothy Taitt was the founder of the British Guiana Union of Cultural Clubs, the Woodbine Club, the Georgetown Philharmonic Orchestra and other social groups. The building became known as Woodbine House and served as a hub for cultural activities in the country for many decades. In February 1996, Cara Lodge opened its doors with 14 rooms under the Cara Hotels brand. Features of the three-storey building include its timber fretwork, Demerara windows, dormer windows, among other features. The hotel which now has approximately 34 rooms is a good example of heritage preservation and reuse initiative.