The Archbishop’s Palace was built in 1903 by the Fifth Archbishop of Port of Spain, Patrick Vincent Flood, at a time when the wealthy estate-owning French Creoles were building on Maraval Road. Influenced by Indian Empire architecture, the design was drawn in Ireland by an Irish architect. Construction was carried out by George Brown of the Trinidad Trading Company and the building was completed in 1904. The building underwent many changes during 1968 and 1969 when the ground floor was almost completely remodelled. A Chancery was constructed to the west of the main building and the summer house and stables were torn down and replaced by a new apartment. The first floor of the house, the sacristy, the chapel and a room in the south-west corner of the house maintain their original state. The architect for the renovation was Sonny Sellier and the contractor, Rev Father Kevin Devenish. On completion in 1969, Monsignor Anthony Pantin, the first Trinidadian-born Archbishop, took up residence.
Surrounding the building, the porch has seven bays to the east façade, including the porte cochere, which bay is wider than the rest. There are six bays on the north and south facades and nine bays on the west façade. The flooring is of ceramic tile which has recently been changed. The original floor material however, can still be seen in the sacristy and the chapel. The handrail is constructed in wood as is the baluster decoration. There is an extended gallery to the west façade of the building four bays deep, which served as the original access to the stables and summer house.
The renovations are not considered to be in keeping with the original architecture although some of the original designs have been maintained. In particular, the double wooden doors to the ground floor have been replaced with aluminium sliding doors, destroying the integrity of the intended aesthetic. Original doors, however, can be found on the south-east corner of the ground floor. The composition of the windows is also very unusual, the glass fixed on a wooden frame.
Address: Maraval Road, St Clair
Town/City: Port of Spain
Region: Port of Spain
Site Type: Cultural Heritage
Public Accessibility: Restricted Access
Listing Status: Stage 8 – Listing Completed & Heritage Site Protected Under the Act
Grade: Grade 1 – Property in which there should be no change, nor alteration to its shape or form, not in or upon any material object, plant or other thing that may deform or deface the property;
Cultural Community: British
Site Features: Residences & Great Houses
Maraval Road, St Clair, Port of Spain