Features

Bringing the Past to Life

Historic restoration plays a part in preserving the Islands’ rich heritage.
By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos Courtesy Lee & Astwood Architects
Anyone who is familiar with the Turks & Caicos Islands knows that this tiny archipelago holds a rich history. Most apparent when you visit the “Salt Islands” of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos is the impact of the Bermudian salt raking industry and British Colonial government on the architecture of the historic buildings that remain.
Although sturdily built, as time, corroding sea air, hurricanes, development and, in some cases, indifference or lack of funding take their toll, these remnants of TCI history are crumbling before our eyes. Will we lose this valuable and rare link to the past?
Looking back
In the days before refrigeration, salt was an important preservative, and the shallow seawater ponds of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos were rich in naturally forming crystals. From 1678, Bermudian salt rakers were dispatched to harvest this “white gold.” They built salina systems to control water flow through windmill-powered sluices and create sea salt through the evaporation.
Slaves were brought in to rake and bag the salt, which was carried by donkey cart to dockside storage sheds. Small “lighters” ferried the salt across the shallow bays to larger ships anchored in deep water. The industry provided the basis for thriving communities, with homes, churches, schools, commercial buildings, salt warehouses and docking facilities. Remains of the salinas, windmills, salt houses and other buildings still exist, although they are deteriorating rapidly.
During this early history, ownership of the Turks Islands was claimed variously by Bermuda, the Bahamas, Spain and France, until they were ultimately restored to Britain in the mid-1700s. As the nation’s capital, Grand Turk’s architecture also encompasses historical government-related structures, such as the Government House at Waterloo, the Treasury building, House of Assembly, post office and prison.
Wherever you travel in Grand Turk, South Caicos’ Cockburn Town or Salt Cay’s Balfour Town, you’ll see historic buildings, most unfortunately in various states of disrepair and decay. Some still hold their own along main streets; others are tucked away behind more modern structures or surrounded by bush.
Turks Island vernacular
For those with an eye for architecture, however, a number of common elements help define a distinctive “Turks Island” vernacular, although it varies subtly by island. These can include such features as a separated stone kitchen shed or building, stepped roofs of shingles or corrugated iron with large overhangs to create shade, wooden shutters, stone fence posts and wooden gates.
In Grand Turk and Salt Cay, for example, the local vernacular includes hip roofs, while in South Caicos gable end roof structures are more the norm. Roof cladding varies widely, with Grand Turk style having switched over the years from the Bermuda roof and wood shingles to the current trend to metal roofing. The ubiquitous covered porch is seen throughout the Islands in varying styles, with the oldest buildings, particularly in Salt Cay, retaining the exterior walk-around louvered porch.
The need for protection
As the Islands took a pro-active stance towards preserving their unique and pristine natural environment through the establishment in 1992 of a comprehensive national parks ordinance, the need to preserve built history was recognized. The National Trust was created to safeguard the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the Turks & Caicos Islands and given authority to create and maintain a Heritage Register of areas, sites, buildings, structures or objects of cultural, historical or natural significance. Unfortunately, some bona fide historical buildings were demolished prior to the ordinance taking effect. The elements, especially the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ike in 2008, are taking their toll on those still standing.
Dr. Neal Hitch, director of the Turks & Caicos National Museum, has for years trumpeted the importance of properly restoring the country’s one-of-a-kind treasures. In early 2008 he commented, “I have seen many historic places, but Grand Turk is special. Its historic core is as intact with its original character as anywhere I have been in the world. It is, however, on a very thin line where it can easily be lost.” By late 2008, Hurricane Ike had proved the point, destroying a number of the historical structures including Woodville, a beautiful restoration that had been in process prior to the hurricane.
Dr. Hitch notes, “Historic places have a sense of place that people enjoy. This can attract visitors who typically stay longer and spend more money than those going to a new vacation destination.” He adds that the investment to restore an existing structure is typically less than constructing the same building new. The investment lasts longer, as the quality of space in a historic area does not come and go like the trends of the typical leisure destination. Dr. Hitch believes that either restoring or losing 10% of a historic district can make or break its sense of place, and urges the ongoing protection and preservation of Grand Turk and other such areas in TCI as the keys to a sustainable tourism product.
Well-schooled in the field of historical architecture, Dr. Hitch differentiates between restoration, renovation and preservation. He says, “No one really wants to live in a strictly ‘restored’ house, as it is not conducive to modern living. A renovation allows modern life to happen. A preservation is keeping enough of the original structure of the home so you could, if you wished, take it back to the original nature. It involves selective decisions on keeping appropriate older aspects. In doing restoration work, there is a fine line between making something in which you can be comfortable and preserving the original character.”
Putting policy into practice
One of the country’s most well-known historical renovations was that of Guinep Lodge, home of the Turks & Caicos National Museum. Built about 1850, it is among the oldest private residences on Grand Turk. When the graceful, but somewhat time-worn lodge was acquired in 1990 to house the museum, an extensive rehabilitation program began. To accommodate the weight of the museum exhibits (including a one-ton cannon!), the entire ground floor was taken up, revealing that the first piece of Guinep Lodge was a ship’s mast.
Because dismastings and wrecks were common in the days of the great sailing ships, it would be natural for local builders, such as shipwright Jonathan Glass, who built several structures on Grand Turk in the 1800s, to make use of these free materials. In fact, many of the lodge’s rafters were found to be ship’s timbers, while ship’s “knees” were used to support the roof. Museum officials decided to share this unique style with visitors via a “window” in the floor through which these unusual building materials can be displayed.
The Government House “Waterloo” in Grand Turk was restored in 1993. Built in 1815 and named after the famous battle that took place that year, it was originally the home of a wealthy Bermudian salt merchant and his family. At that time, it consisted of just one modest wing with an open air kitchen. Since then, the house had undergone many modifications, modernizations and additions according to the needs of its succeeding residents.
The well-established local architectural practice of John Redmond Associates served as project architects, with the goal of restoring, as far as possible, the original features of the residence. With termites being a major structural problem, the original wooden structure was supported by new works in concrete and masonry, with the use of timber restricted to claddings, floors, trim and roof. As much as possible of the original fittings and fixtures were retained, and where new ones were required, they were chosen to match their original counterparts. The existing back windows were re-used and the unusual guttering was restored.
Where original details were lost, new ones were based on similar examples found in other Grand Turk houses of the same vintage, as it is quite likely they were all made by the same craftsmen. The end result was a comfortable residence for each succeeding governor, conservation of an important part of the island’s heritage and a building that still stands today.
Making renovation a specialty
I recently met with Jeff Lee and Ian Astwood, principals of the architectural firm Lee & Astwood Architects Ltd. Both have a keen interest in historic renovation, have completed much of the historical renovation and refurbishment done in Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and have acquired an expertise and reputation for the craft. Jeff Lee is a TCI citizen, and has lived and worked in the country for 25 years. Since his early years as partner in the Turks & Caicos branch of OBM Ltd. he reflects his deep respect and admiration of the country’s heritage on the drawing board by incorporating key architectural elements in most of his designs.
I recall interviewing him in 1994 about a boutique hotel he had designed for Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk. The preliminary sketch spoke strongly to the past with its corrugated tin roof, shaded verandas and wrought iron balconies. It was graceful, scaled to the island’s size and appropriate to a sense of place. Unfortunately, the project never came to fruition.
Jeff’s first historical renovation was rather unusual. He was commissioned to design a residence for a Canadian couple on a small 1/3 acre beachfront lot on Duke Street. The goal was to design a residence that, when complete, had the appearance of a renovated 150 year old structure. In fact, of what had existed prior, only the cistern remained!  By studying old photographs, existing buildings and descriptions of the structure by the owner, the firm managed to design and build a brand-new house that looked 150 years old! The proof lies in the published articles that refer to the house as a “recently renovated old Duke Street house.”
Ian Astwood grew up surrounded by history. He spent the first dozen years of his career in the TCI government public works department in Grand Turk. He says that while his team worked to repair various government buildings  — including the post office, legislative council and treasury — to keep them functional, they were not proper nor accurate historical restorations. Ian left TCI to study Historical Preservation in college, earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture and wrote his thesis on “Preservation and Restoration: The Essence of Place in Architecture.”
In 2004, the newly formed Lee & Astwood’s first historical renovation was the Methodist Manse in Grand Turk. Originally built in the 1860s, this spacious, historic, oceanfront home on Front Street typifies the character of the stately British West Indies architectural style. It now operates as the Grand Turk Inn, a popular guesthouse.
The firm’s next project was the renovation and preservation of the Brown House (originally named Sunnyside) in Salt Cay. Built in the early 1800s, the home was later purchased by the Harriott brothers of salt proprietor renown. It was resold upon their death and successively served as a private home and guest house and restaurant. By 2003, the house was in danger of collapse. It was purchased by Helen Krieble, a professional art historian and Salt Cay preservation devotee, who commissioned the extensive renovation.
According to Jeff and Ian, the most important part of the project was the complete rebuilding of the basement and core structure of the house. Jeff comments, “We discovered that the beams in the basement were old ship’s masts and we needed to import large timber replacements to support the house’s structure, with new cement footings to support the posts. Much of the upper living level plank floor was replaced and extensive work was completed on the simply operating porch wooden shutter system.”
Upstairs, the house is surrounded on three sides by a veranda, with  wooden jalousie windows to let in light and breezes. Bedrooms, now with modern baths, line the hall and a refurbished, modern kitchen and dining area enjoys the western exposure. Lemon cypress pocket doors still work and have been restored to give many more years of service.
It was the Roberts House on Duke Street in Grand Turk, however, that posed Lee & Astwood’s biggest challenge. Because of termite and ant damage, the home was literally falling down. The firm petitioned the Planning Department to proceed with an ingenious proposition: survey and measure the building, knock down everything with the exception of the Bermuda kitchen structure and chimney, and build it back with a modern reinforced concrete structure, clad with wood to return the house to its original appearance. The work was time-consuming, with the Lee & Astwood team meticulously measuring every dimension of the house inside and out, translating this into drawings with section details which could be refined into construction documents.
The restoration of Government House on Salt Cay is a work in progress. Situated in the South District of Salt Cay, the house was built in the early to mid-1800s and served as the center of social, governmental and business life on Salt Cay. The two-story home, which served as the primary residence of the government officer, was built entirely of wood, with a separate, stone Bermuda kitchen off the back of the house. The front displays large cement and stone Bermuda posts and wooden gates.
The home has stood empty since its last official function — a wedding reception in 1976. In 2008, TCI National Trust Executive Director Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams and Helen Krieble formed the Turks & Caicos National Preservation Trust, both to raise funds for the renovation and to help the trust secure a 99 year lease on the property.
Although severely affected by Hurricane Ike, the original center part of the house has been refurbished, along with the distinctive front porch. The roof has been completed, closing in the structure, and the exterior wall cladding is now in place, further strengthening the structure. When completed, plans are for the property to serve as a visitor’s center, featuring displays of Salt Cay artifacts and photos and cultural demonstrations including how to cook in the working Bermuda kitchen. Upstairs, the building will be made available for meetings, receptions and other gatherings.
A labor of love
Although Lee & Astwood’s renovations are a labor of love and satisfying in themselves (especially to Ian, who enjoys the delight of older Grand Turk folk when they see restored a building they remember from childhood), they are not without challenges. Jeff says, “The hardest thing about this sort of work is that there are so many unknowns. You don’t know what’s behind the wall or under the floorboards until you’re well underway. That makes it hard to establish a budget or define a timeline for the owners and builders.”
In this type of project, an architect’s job is to draw plans and detail the building, specify the materials, create a project manual and manage the construction, ensuring that the work is done properly and on time. Ian explains that sourcing materials to match existing items is like a scavenger hunt, “We have to research, hunt for and find these materials, then get them to the island! This may mean searching an old barnyard in the US or a dealer specializing in antique hardware to find hinges and knobs for doors.”
Plans for the future may include working with Salt Cay Devco Ltd. on a Salt Cay Historical Preservation Plan encompassing their vision of restoring and renovating the tiny island’s tattered historical center. Jeff and Ian would also like to see restoration expanded to include buildings in South Caicos, such as the venerable District Commissioner’s house, and on the Caicos chain, whose architecture dates back to the Loyalist cotton plantation era. They concur, “There’s so much work to be done and the time window in which these buildings can be saved is steadily shrinking. Without visible reminders of heritage, a country loses sight of itself.”
For more information about TCI historic restoration, contact Jeff Lee and Ian Astwood at Lee & Astwood Architects at 649 946 5210 or email info@leeastwoodarch.com or visit www.leeastwoodarch.com.

Historic restoration plays a part in preserving the Islands’ rich heritage.

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos Courtesy Lee & Astwood Architects

Bermuda chimney salvaged from Roberts House restoration in Grand Turk

Bermuda chimney salvaged from Roberts House restoration in Grand Turk

Anyone who is familiar with the Turks & Caicos Islands knows that this tiny archipelago holds a rich history. Most apparent when you visit the “Salt Islands” of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos is the impact of the Bermudian salt raking industry and British Colonial government on the architecture of the historic buildings that remain.

Although sturdily built, as time, corroding sea air, hurricanes, development and, in some cases, indifference or lack of funding take their toll, these remnants of TCI history are crumbling before our eyes. Will we lose this valuable and rare link to the past?

Looking back

In the days before refrigeration, salt was an important preservative, and the shallow seawater ponds of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos were rich in naturally forming crystals. From 1678, Bermudian salt rakers were dispatched to harvest this “white gold.” They built salina systems to control water flow through windmill-powered sluices and create sea salt through the evaporation.

Slaves were brought in to rake and bag the salt, which was carried by donkey cart to dockside storage sheds. Small “lighters” ferried the salt across the shallow bays to larger ships anchored in deep water. The industry provided the basis for thriving communities, with homes, churches, schools, commercial buildings, salt warehouses and docking facilities. Remains of the salinas, windmills, salt houses and other buildings still exist, although they are deteriorating rapidly.

During this early history, ownership of the Turks Islands was claimed variously by Bermuda, the Bahamas, Spain and France, until they were ultimately restored to Britain in the mid-1700s. As the nation’s capital, Grand Turk’s architecture also encompasses historical government-related structures, such as the Government House at Waterloo, the Treasury building, House of Assembly, post office and prison.

Wherever you travel in Grand Turk, South Caicos’ Cockburn Town or Salt Cay’s Balfour Town, you’ll see historic buildings, most unfortunately in various states of disrepair and decay. Some still hold their own along main streets; others are tucked away behind more modern structures or surrounded by bush.

Turks Island vernacular

For those with an eye for architecture, however, a number of common elements help define a distinctive “Turks Island” vernacular, although it varies subtly by island. These can include such features as a separated stone kitchen shed or building, stepped roofs of shingles or corrugated iron with large overhangs to create shade, wooden shutters, stone fence posts and wooden gates.

Duke Street, Grand Turk home only appears to be a restoration

Duke Street, Grand Turk home only appears to be a restoration

In Grand Turk and Salt Cay, for example, the local vernacular includes hip roofs, while in South Caicos gable end roof structures are more the norm. Roof cladding varies widely, with Grand Turk style having switched over the years from the Bermuda roof and wood shingles to the current trend to metal roofing. The ubiquitous covered porch is seen throughout the Islands in varying styles, with the oldest buildings, particularly in Salt Cay, retaining the exterior walk-around louvered porch.

The need for protection

As the Islands took a pro-active stance towards preserving their unique and pristine natural environment through the establishment in 1992 of a comprehensive national parks ordinance, the need to preserve built history was recognized. The National Trust was created to safeguard the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the Turks & Caicos Islands and given authority to create and maintain a Heritage Register of areas, sites, buildings, structures or objects of cultural, historical or natural significance. Unfortunately, some bona fide historical buildings were demolished prior to the ordinance taking effect. The elements, especially the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ike in 2008, are taking their toll on those still standing.

Dr. Neal Hitch, director of the Turks & Caicos National Museum, has for years trumpeted the importance of properly restoring the country’s one-of-a-kind treasures. In early 2008 he commented, “I have seen many historic places, but Grand Turk is special. Its historic core is as intact with its original character as anywhere I have been in the world. It is, however, on a very thin line where it can easily be lost.” By late 2008, Hurricane Ike had proved the point, destroying a number of the historical structures including Woodville, a beautiful restoration that had been in process prior to the hurricane.

Dr. Hitch notes, “Historic places have a sense of place that people enjoy. This can attract visitors who typically stay longer and spend more money than those going to a new vacation destination.” He adds that the investment to restore an existing structure is typically less than constructing the same building new. The investment lasts longer, as the quality of space in a historic area does not come and go like the trends of the typical leisure destination. Dr. Hitch believes that either restoring or losing 10% of a historic district can make or break its sense of place, and urges the ongoing protection and preservation of Grand Turk and other such areas in TCI as the keys to a sustainable tourism product.

Well-schooled in the field of historical architecture, Dr. Hitch differentiates between restoration, renovation and preservation. He says, “No one really wants to live in a strictly ‘restored’ house, as it is not conducive to modern living. A renovation allows modern life to happen. A preservation is keeping enough of the original structure of the home so you could, if you wished, take it back to the original nature. It involves selective decisions on keeping appropriate older aspects. In doing restoration work, there is a fine line between making something in which you can be comfortable and preserving the original character.”

Putting policy into practice

One of the country’s most well-known historical renovations was that of Guinep Lodge, home of the Turks & Caicos National Museum. Built about 1850, it is among the oldest private residences on Grand Turk. When the graceful, but somewhat time-worn lodge was acquired in 1990 to house the museum, an extensive rehabilitation program began. To accommodate the weight of the museum exhibits (including a one-ton cannon!), the entire ground floor was taken up, revealing that the first piece of Guinep Lodge was a ship’s mast.

Because dismastings and wrecks were common in the days of the great sailing ships, it would be natural for local builders, such as shipwright Jonathan Glass, who built several structures on Grand Turk in the 1800s, to make use of these free materials. In fact, many of the lodge’s rafters were found to be ship’s timbers, while ship’s “knees” were used to support the roof. Museum officials decided to share this unique style with visitors via a “window” in the floor through which these unusual building materials can be displayed.

The Government House “Waterloo” in Grand Turk was restored in 1993. Built in 1815 and named after the famous battle that took place that year, it was originally the home of a wealthy Bermudian salt merchant and his family. At that time, it consisted of just one modest wing with an open air kitchen. Since then, the house had undergone many modifications, modernizations and additions according to the needs of its succeeding residents.

The well-established local architectural practice of John Redmond Associates served as project architects, with the goal of restoring, as far as possible, the original features of the residence. With termites being a major structural problem, the original wooden structure was supported by new works in concrete and masonry, with the use of timber restricted to claddings, floors, trim and roof. As much as possible of the original fittings and fixtures were retained, and where new ones were required, they were chosen to match their original counterparts. The existing back windows were re-used and the unusual guttering was restored.

Where original details were lost, new ones were based on similar examples found in other Grand Turk houses of the same vintage, as it is quite likely they were all made by the same craftsmen. The end result was a comfortable residence for each succeeding governor, conservation of an important part of the island’s heritage and a building that still stands today.

Making renovation a specialty

I recently met with Jeff Lee and Ian Astwood, principals of the architectural firm Lee & Astwood Architects Ltd. Both have a keen interest in historic renovation, have completed much of the historical renovation and refurbishment done in Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and have acquired an expertise and reputation for the craft. Jeff Lee is a TCI citizen, and has lived and worked in the country for 25 years. Since his early years as partner in the Turks & Caicos branch of OBM Ltd. he reflects his deep respect and admiration of the country’s heritage on the drawing board by incorporating key architectural elements in most of his designs.

I recall interviewing him in 1994 about a boutique hotel he had designed for Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk. The preliminary sketch spoke strongly to the past with its corrugated tin roof, shaded verandas and wrought iron balconies. It was graceful, scaled to the island’s size and appropriate to a sense of place. Unfortunately, the project never came to fruition.

Jeff’s first historical renovation was rather unusual. He was commissioned to design a residence for a Canadian couple on a small 1/3 acre beachfront lot on Duke Street. The goal was to design a residence that, when complete, had the appearance of a renovated 150 year old structure. In fact, of what had existed prior, only the cistern remained!  By studying old photographs, existing buildings and descriptions of the structure by the owner, the firm managed to design and build a brand-new house that looked 150 years old! The proof lies in the published articles that refer to the house as a “recently renovated old Duke Street house.”

Ian Astwood grew up surrounded by history. He spent the first dozen years of his career in the TCI government public works department in Grand Turk. He says that while his team worked to repair various government buildings  — including the post office, legislative council and treasury — to keep them functional, they were not proper nor accurate historical restorations. Ian left TCI to study Historical Preservation in college, earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture and wrote his thesis on “Preservation and Restoration: The Essence of Place in Architecture.”

In 2004, the newly formed Lee & Astwood’s first historical renovation was the Methodist Manse in Grand Turk. Originally built in the 1860s, this spacious, historic, oceanfront home on Front Street typifies the character of the stately British West Indies architectural style. It now operates as the Grand Turk Inn, a popular guesthouse.

The firm’s next project was the renovation and preservation of the Brown House (originally named Sunnyside) in Salt Cay. Built in the early 1800s, the home was later purchased by the Harriott brothers of salt proprietor renown. It was resold upon their death and successively served as a private home and guest house and restaurant. By 2003, the house was in danger of collapse. It was purchased by Helen Krieble, a professional art historian and Salt Cay preservation devotee, who commissioned the extensive renovation.

According to Jeff and Ian, the most important part of the project was the complete rebuilding of the basement and core structure of the house. Jeff comments, “We discovered that the beams in the basement were old ship’s masts and we needed to import large timber replacements to support the house’s structure, with new cement footings to support the posts. Much of the upper living level plank floor was replaced and extensive work was completed on the simply operating porch wooden shutter system.”

Upstairs, the house is surrounded on three sides by a veranda, with  wooden jalousie windows to let in light and breezes. Bedrooms, now with modern baths, line the hall and a refurbished, modern kitchen and dining area enjoys the western exposure. Lemon cypress pocket doors still work and have been restored to give many more years of service.

It was the Roberts House on Duke Street in Grand Turk, however, that posed Lee & Astwood’s biggest challenge. Because of termite and ant damage, the home was literally falling down. The firm petitioned the Planning Department to proceed with an ingenious proposition: survey and measure the building, knock down everything with the exception of the Bermuda kitchen structure and chimney, and build it back with a modern reinforced concrete structure, clad with wood to return the house to its original appearance. The work was time-consuming, with the Lee & Astwood team meticulously measuring every dimension of the house inside and out, translating this into drawings with section details which could be refined into construction documents.

The restoration of Government House on Salt Cay is a work in progress. Situated in the South District of Salt Cay, the house was built in the early to mid-1800s and served as the center of social, governmental and business life on Salt Cay. The two-story home, which served as the primary residence of the government officer, was built entirely of wood, with a separate, stone Bermuda kitchen off the back of the house. The front displays large cement and stone Bermuda posts and wooden gates.

The home has stood empty since its last official function — a wedding reception in 1976. In 2008, TCI National Trust Executive Director Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams and Helen Krieble formed the Turks & Caicos National Preservation Trust, both to raise funds for the renovation and to help the trust secure a 99 year lease on the property.

Although severely affected by Hurricane Ike, the original center part of the house has been refurbished, along with the distinctive front porch. The roof has been completed, closing in the structure, and the exterior wall cladding is now in place, further strengthening the structure. When completed, plans are for the property to serve as a visitor’s center, featuring displays of Salt Cay artifacts and photos and cultural demonstrations including how to cook in the working Bermuda kitchen. Upstairs, the building will be made available for meetings, receptions and other gatherings.

A labor of love

Although Lee & Astwood’s renovations are a labor of love and satisfying in themselves (especially to Ian, who enjoys the delight of older Grand Turk folk when they see restored a building they remember from childhood), they are not without challenges. Jeff says, “The hardest thing about this sort of work is that there are so many unknowns. You don’t know what’s behind the wall or under the floorboards until you’re well underway. That makes it hard to establish a budget or define a timeline for the owners and builders.”

In this type of project, an architect’s job is to draw plans and detail the building, specify the materials, create a project manual and manage the construction, ensuring that the work is done properly and on time. Ian explains that sourcing materials to match existing items is like a scavenger hunt, “We have to research, hunt for and find these materials, then get them to the island! This may mean searching an old barnyard in the US or a dealer specializing in antique hardware to find hinges and knobs for doors.”

Plans for the future may include working with Salt Cay Devco Ltd. on a Salt Cay Historical Preservation Plan encompassing their vision of restoring and renovating the tiny island’s tattered historical center. Jeff and Ian would also like to see restoration expanded to include buildings in South Caicos, such as the venerable District Commissioner’s house, and on the Caicos chain, whose architecture dates back to the Loyalist cotton plantation era. They concur, “There’s so much work to be done and the time window in which these buildings can be saved is steadily shrinking. Without visible reminders of heritage, a country loses sight of itself.”

For more information about TCI historic restoration, contact Jeff Lee and Ian Astwood at Lee & Astwood Architects at 649 946 5210 or  visit www.leeastwoodarch.com.



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