Historic Queen of the East finally toppled
The historic Queen of the East was torn down yesterday, disappointing campaigners who fought for years to save the building.
The East Broadway building, which was first built in the 1740s, is set to be replaced with a six-storey residential block.
Sallie Singleton, who had been part of campaigns to save the building, said yesterday she was devastated when she discovered that the building had been demolished.
“If this was Charleston or Williamsburg or even London, can you imagine them tearing down the oldest building in the city?
“They just wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said.
“I think the National Trust have certainly done everything they could over the years to save it, but I think at the end of the day they just couldn’t afford it. The cost to save it was too high.”
The Queen of the East was originally erected as a large merchant house, and became an iconic feature in the 18th-century port of Hamilton.
In subsequent years the building became home to a bakery, a laundry and — perhaps most infamously — a brothel.
Bayfield Clark, a well-known architect, rented and restored the house in the 1940s and during his tenure the property was a Bermudian showplace.
However, the property was controversially stripped of its listed building status in 2002 after falling into disrepair and efforts to save the property in recent years have failed.
The development proposals for the Queen of the East property were initially rejected by the Development Applications Board, but the developer appealed the decision and Michael Fahy, the Minister of Home Affairs, went along with an independent inspector’s recommendation that the project to bulldoze the old property and erect a residential building should be given the go-ahead.
A website for the project states that the building will feature 12 residences, a private gym, a “dockside Zen garden”, ground-level parking and walk-on boat moorings among other amenities.