More residential units proposed for ‘Queen of the East’
A proposed development on the site of the ‘Queen of the East' has been revised because the initial plan was “unworkable, unrealistic and not functional.”
The revised plan still calls for the demolition of the historic former brothel on Crow Lane in favour of a six-storey residential building, but increases the number of residential units and parking spaces inside the building.
According to the minutes of a meeting of the Advisory Architectural Panel, on August 22 an agent for the developer told the panel the original plan had problems and would need to be redesigned, but he was hoping to receive input to determine if the concept was good.
The panel said there were no issues with the massing, overall height and design of the building, although it failed to abide by an upper-story setback requirement.
However several problems were noted, including “serious” design, circulation and size issues relating to the indoor parking area, a lack of private amenity space for one unit and inadequate amenity space for another unit.
According to the minutes, one panellist told the agent the panel was not in place to design the building, and there needed to be something of substance for the panel to comment on.
The panel later agreed they were unable to comment because the plan was “unworkable, unrealistic and not functional” by the agent's own admission.
The revised plan, received on October 16, increases the number of residential units in the building from ten to 13 — five two-bedroom units, seven one-bedroom units and a studio on the floor below the parking area.
The plan includes a redesigned indoor parking lot, which would be level with Crow Lane and have parking spaces for 13 cars. An additional 11 motorcycle spaces would be outside.
The application also removes a swimming pool and floating dock which were included in the original plan.
The original application faced objections from the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and the Bermuda National Trust over the potential demolition of the ‘Queen of the East', who noted the building's historical and architectural significance.
The building was erected in the 1740s and is considered an outstanding example of an 18th century merchant's house.
Over the years the building served as a bakery, a laundry, a brothel and a Soldier and Sailors Club. It was purchased in 1938 by architect Bayfield Clark and his wife, an interior designer, who together renovated the building.
The building was given a Grade One listing in 2002, but was delisted five years later.