The development of Queenstown
Queenstown was purchased by the Mayor & City Council of Georgetown in 1887 from plantation owner Mr. Quintin Hogg. It was established as a residential district preventing a number of businesses and certain calibre of buildings from being erected in the community. The area was named in honour of Queen Victoria and is bordered by Lamaha Street to the north; Vlissingen Road to the east; Church Street to the south and Albert Street to the west.
In Queen Victoria’s jubilee year, it was proposed by the City Council to have the streets named after her children; however, the residents of the newly established ward did not welcome this idea and instead the streets were given other names. Laluni and Anira Streets were named after the Laluni Creek and the Anira Canal both tributaries of the Lama River which is considered a stream and is a tributary of the Mahaica River. Peter Rose Street was named after Peter Rose who was an affluent member of the society and also a member of the Court of Policy. Forshaw Street was named after George Anderson Forshaw, the first Mayor of Georgetown. Almond Street was named for an almond tree and Crown Street was named in honour of the British crown.
Buildings of historic Queenstown
Burns Memorial Guyana Presbyterian Church
This is the main building was originally the Canadian Presbyterian Church in Guyana. It was established in 1885 to serve the Indian immigrants who migrated to the colony to work on the plantations after emancipation of African slaves.
Queenstown Moravian Church
The Queenstown Moravian Church was built largely through the initiative of the Reverend John Dingwall after the decision was made in 1891 to extend its ministry to the capital city.
Sharples House, located on Forshaw Street, Queenstown, Georgetown is an excellent example of colonial timber architecture in Guyana. The building was designed by architect John Bradshaw Sharples and built c.1907. Affluent owners of the building over time include Mr. Sharples himself and subsequently politicians of Guyana such as former President Mr. Bharrat Jadgeo. Also Mrs Viola Burnham, wife of former President Mr. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham lived in the building after it was rehabilitated by George Henry. Today, it is used by the Russian Aluminium company (RUSAL).
Brazilian Ambassador’s Residence
The Brazilian Ambassadors Residence is located on the corner of Peter Rose and Anira Streets, Queenstown, Georgetown. It was supposedly constructed by Charlsetown sawmills in the early 1900s as a wedding present to Aurelia De Freitas by her brothers. It was acquired by the Brazilian government in 1971. Initially built of green heart, the three-storey structure was rehabilitated in 2002. Some notable architectural features of the building include its wooden trust roof, balusters, fretwork, and spandrels.
Other sites in Queenstown
The Queenstown Masjid site remains an important place where one of Guyana’s oldest Islamic institutions which was established in 1895, allowing people of the Islamic faith, mainly the East Indians, the freedom to practice their faith openly during the colonial era. The first mosque was built in 1895 and was demolished in 2007 paving the way for the construction of very contemporary current mosque. Reconstruction for the new mosque started in 2011 and still continues. When completed this will be the most modern mosque in Guyana.