Letter of the day | Kingston Downtown Redevelopment | Letters
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The idea of building a new structure to house the National Sports Museum in Independence Park is out of step with the Prime Minister’s deliberate economic aim of being catalytic. In my view, this is inconsistent with the objective of positioning Kingston, particularly our capital district, the city centre, as the cultural heart of the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Having the National Sports Museum at Independence Park does very little to improve the status of the park. Instead, I think more energy should be put into upgrading the National Stadium to become an internationally renowned athletics venue, separate from football.
Additionally, the East Stadium is set to be redeveloped into a fully covered, modern home ground, similar to any premier club ground in the English Premier League.
Other efforts at Independence Park should include:
• Create/maintain a world-class sculpture garden – a National Sculpture Garden of Dignity – for selected Jamaicans who have contributed, locally and internationally, to the performing arts/music and sports.
• Creation of an outdoor amphitheater – National Amphitheater of August 1962 – construction of a paying parking lot on several levels (this would take up less space for parking).
• Improved settings fencing, which currently looks terrible.
Harbor Street, Downtown Kingston – across from the Jamaica Stock Exchange is a neglected lot with a historic building – is the perfect location for a National Sports Museum.
Not to stray from the discussion, but as we move to reposition this part of downtown, how about turning the historic J. Wray & Nephew building and the other buildings directly across it into the National Museum of Jamaica – Mr. Seaga’s thoughts. These buildings could be connected by an overhead walkway.
To the east, the current National Library and the building housing the Institute of Jamaica could be redeveloped to become the National Museum of Caribbean Music and Performing Arts.
To the north, the old Jamintel building could be renovated to become the Marcus M. Garvey National Library of Jamaica. The headquarters of the Institute of Jamaica could then be moved to the building currently housing the Family Court on Duke Street.
A new court complex to house the Family Court, Traffic Court, Civil Branch of the Supreme Court and Kingston Parish Court could be built on East Street, opposite the Street Courthouse. Sutton, which would then be designated as the future home of the Jamaica Court of Justice (JCJ).