The Royal Victoria Institute was built as a Science and Art Museum to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It was built in the German Renaissance style, designed by the architect D. M Hahn and opened on 17 September. The institute was used for research exhibits of natural history and archaeology, and classes in arts and crafts. In 1901 the building was enlarged to include a reading room and recreation room and lawn tennis courts were developed on the grounds. By 1905 the Institute became a centre for social and dramatic functions. On the 18 April 1913 the Marie Louise Hall was opened by H.RH Princess Marie Louise of Schieswig-Holstein. The hall is located at the King Edward VIII Memorial Wing on the first floor at the eastern side of the building. At this time the Institute housed a number of unique natural history collections. On 19 May 1920 the interior of the building was destroyed by fire. Only the external walls remained and most of the collections were lost. The main portion of the building was rebuilt using the same plan as the old building. It was reopened in June 1923 and was used for theatrical and musical entertainment and commercial classes.
In 1945, the colonial government decided to expand exhibitions and activities and give the institute the status of a museum. The National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago, as it serves the public interest, relates the history, artistic, intellectual, economic, technological, legal, social, political and physical environments. The national community looks to the museum for the experiences of the collective cultural fabric of the past and the present.
Other name: National Museum and Art Gallery
Address: 117 Frederick Street, Port of Spain
Site Type: Cultural Heritage
Public Accessibility: Full Access
Grade: Grade 3 – property in which there may be allowed (a) alterations to international non-structural components and roof cladding material; or (b) specified alterations to the internal structure
Cultural Community: British
Site Features: School
117 Frederick Street, Port of Spain