The Repurposing of the old Parks Department Headquarters Building

Thank you for joining us today for an important announcement that underscores the
collaborative spirit between the Government of Bermuda and Masterworks Museum of
Bermuda Art, marking a significant step towards revitalising an iconic piece of Bermuda’s

In 2018, this former Department of Parks headquarters building in the Botanical Gardens
faced closure due to severe mould issues. It has languished in a state of deterioration ever

This Grade 3 listed building, with a storied past as the residence of the Director of
Agriculture and other officials for over 122 years, represents a remarkable piece of our
cultural heritage.

Today, I am pleased to share with you that Masterworks Museum, known for its status as
a centre of cultural arts and for its museum of art, approached the Ministry of Public
Works with a proposal to lease and renovate this historic government asset – at no cost to
the taxpayer.

This initiative, which will see the building become a second location for Masterworks in
the form of its new art and design centre, stems from a shared commitment to preserving
our cultural legacy and fostering art and culture.
I want to express sincere gratitude to the Board of Masterworks Bermuda and to its
executive director, Ms. Risa Hunter, for their initiative in the revitalising this building.

Their dedication to the arts and cultural enrichment is truly commendable, and we
acknowledge their efforts in raising the funds needed to undertake the comprehensive
renovation of the building.

Importantly, this endeavour comes at no cost to the public, showcasing a beneficial
partnership between the public and private sectors. The lack of funding is always the
impediment to Government carrying out these works itself.

The decision to grant the lease is rooted in a vision that will see this historic building
return to active use for the public’s benefit. It signifies not only the preservation of our
cultural heritage but also the further elevation of the Botanical Gardens as a hub for art
and culture, aligned with the Government’s commitment to community development.
The benefits that Masterworks brings to our community are exemplified by the successful
transformation of the former Arrowroot Factory Building. This showcases their
dedication to repurposing historical spaces to enrich our vibrant cultural landscape.

Recognising the surplus status of the building, we believe that once renovated, it will play
a crucial role in supporting the Foundation’s art projects for the Island, aligning
seamlessly with the wider remit to expand opportunities for budding artists.

This strategic decision is part of broader plans. The building being considered surplus
aligns with our vision for a new state of the art Parks headquarters development at the
Marsh Folly site. Those Plans should be submitted to Planning shortly.

Additionally, renovations to the Botanical Gardens Visitors’ Centre are planned, catering
to Library space, other Parks Department needs, and public spaces.

This public-private partnership, guided by the principles of the National Parks Act 1986,
is a shining example of repurposing unused government buildings to support art
education and development, fostering a more vibrant and connected community.

Thank you, to the Board, Management, staff and donors of the Masterworks Museum of
Bermuda Art – we look forward to witnessing the positive transformation of this historic
site under your capable stewardship.

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.

User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.

TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.

TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.