National Trust of Guyana

City Hall & City Engineer’s Office

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Location: Lacytown, Georgetown

Classification: Community

Period/ Year Built: 19th century

Historical Background / Description:

City Hall, an eloquent reminder of Guyana’s architectural heritage is located with its main façade facing Avenue of the Republic and is bordered by Regent Street to the north and Charlotte Street to the south. In 1842, Georgetown was designated a city, but the council which was established on March 1, 1837, was without a building of its own. 

On November 22, 1886, the council agreed to a proposal for building specifications to be drafted and reviewed. In March, 1887, the designs submitted for the Town Hall were reviewed and the work of architect Reverend Ignatius Scoles S. J. was selected with the assistance of Mr. Cesar Castellani and Messrs. J. A. Conyers, a councillor. Funds for the new building were then secured through the government; and on December 23, 1887, His Excellency Governor Sir Henry Turner Irving, K.C.M.G, laid the foundation stone for the building in the north-eastern corner of the structure. 

The building was completed 18 months later and declared opened before a large audience by Governor Viscount Gormanston, K.C.M.G. on July 1, 1889, during a heavy downpour of rain. The City Hall can be described as an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture in Guyana. The 29 metres (96 feet) tower with its conical pinnacles was and still is considered one of the building’s main attractions. Other features of the three-storey rectangular shaped building include its lancet windows (pointed arched windows), fretwork, iron capitals decorated with foliage, finials, elaborate mahogany staircase and a ceiling similar to a hammer beam, located in the Concert Hall.

The City Engineer’s Department building is located on Avenue of the Republic, in Lacytown, Georgetown. This 19th century, three-storey, timber and masonry structure once functioned as the Fire Superintendent’s Department. It was also the residence of the Town Superintendent before being dedicated as the office for the City Engineer’s Department. Architectural features of the building include its arched windows, balcony, finials and the ornate cast iron railings.