PINL Restoration Project
The Pigeon Island National Landmark is owned by the Government of Saint Lucia and leased to the SLNT for management and upkeep. It is arguably the best maintained historic site on the island and attracts in excess of 90 000 visitors annually.
The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) proposes to undertake redevelopment works at Pigeon Island National Landmark (PINL) to include rehabilitation of the Commanding Officer’s Quarters and the Cooperage to adaptive use, rehabilitation of the Officers’ Mess to be used as a conference centre, upgrade of Captain’s Cellar into a full restaurant, construction of a Gift Shop and reconstruction of the gate house. PINL is owned by the Government of Saint Lucia and leased to the SLNT for management and upkeep. PINL is arguably the best maintained historic site on the island and attracts in excess of 90 000 visitors annually. A key attraction at PINL is the eighteenth century military ruins which are in advanced stages of degradation and which, if not addressed will lead to their total loss. In this regard several studies have been conducted and there is agreement that significant investments are required to save these priceless components of our patrimony. Guided by concerns about the deterioration of the old military structures at Pigeon Island and other sites, the SLNT secured funding from the Getty Foundation and commissioned a study on rehabilitation options. The 1999 report by Shelly Sass et al made recommendations for immediate and extensive rehabilitation works. These were considered and incorporated into the Pigeon Island Management Plan approved by the Trust’s Council in 1999. However, implementation was not pursued because of the costs involved and the inability of the Trust to raise the financing. In 2010 the Trust commissioned an updated assessment by Dr. Harris of the Bermuda Maritime Museum, which confirmed the urgency to undertake rehabilitation works with the view to saving the military structures at Pigeon Island. Since that time Council has explored several options and in consultation with local experts agreed to make the restoration of the Commanding Officer’s Quarters at Pigeon Island as the centre piece of a wider restoration and upgrade project. This structure was selected because of its advanced state of deterioration and the fact that over time it was the subject of three modifications by occupants of the Landmark, including the US Military during World War II, making it unrepresentative of the architectural designs of the 18th century military installations. On this basis conceptual plans were developed for the restoration, discussed and approved by the Trust Council and members, and architectural designs commissioned. The key elements of the proposed redevelopment are:
a) Restoration of the Commanding Officer’s (CO’s) Quarters at PINL to as close as possible to its original design and to put it to adaptive use viz to serve as the offices and documentation centre of the Trust.
b) Restoration of the Cooperage to as close as possible to its original design to serve as the Interpretation Centre and store room.
c) Conversion of the Officers’ Mess, which currently houses the Trust’s Offices and Interpretation Centre into a conference facility;
d) Refurbishment of the Captain’s Cellar into a full, upscale restaurant;
e) Upgrading the gatehouse to include a security centre for the Landmark; and
f) Creation of a gift shop