National Trust of Guyana

National Cultural Centre

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Location: D’Urban Park, Georgetown

Classification: Community

Period/ Year Built: Construction period 1972-1976

Historical Background / Description:

The National Cultural Centre, located on Homestretch Avenue, D’Urban Park, Georgetown, is Guyana’s premier venue for cultural events and activities. The building was designed by Guyanese architect, Mr. Norris Mitchell in 1971, and officially opened on May 16, 1976. The venue, though incomplete, was used during the 1972 Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts (CARIFESTA) celebrations. 

Construction work began on January 15, 1972, when the first of the 280, 21.3 metres (70 feet) greenheart piles was driven into the ground by the contractor, S.A. Nabi & Sons. Unable to be completed in time for CARIFESTA, three large tents were acquired to cover the ground floor area and the stage was considered the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean at the time. It took four years and five months for the structure to be built, but once completed, it towered 18.9 metres (62 feet) with an overall length of 73 metres (240 feet) and a width of 35 metres (115 feet). The building was built using various types of materials such as concrete, timber and clay bricks and has a seating capacity of just about 2,000.