Teenage

Gordon House

Yakum Fitz-Henley

Tuesday, June 19, 2012    

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GORDON House is the meeting place of Jamaica's Senate and House of Representatives.

It is located at the corner of Duke and Beeston Streets, in the immediate vicinity of Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) Headquarters House, which was the actual meeting place of Parliament from 1872 until 1960 when Gordon House was built.

This building signified a move for Jamaica away from colonial control and towards advances in independence and self-government.

Gordon House is a two-storey contemporary building with a distinct symmetrical design at its entrance elevation. Although it is contemporary, it does carry remnants of the period of its original construction in the form of bricks.

Named after national hero the Right Excellent George William Gordon, the building is of an 'L' shaped design, making use of an open courtyard for concealed parking.

On Wednesday, October 26, 1960, Gordon House became the official meeting place of the Jamaican Government and was named such in tribute to Gordon, who was a prominent supporter of freedom and justice for all classes in the society. Gordon was born in 1815 and died after being tried and executed under martial law in 1865, following the Morant Bay Bay Rebellion led by another national hero Paul Bogle.

Gordon was an elected member of the House of Assembly in the 1850s and thereby developed into a leading advocate in the Government for the welfare of the freshly emancipated black race.

Thus, the appropriate choice of George William Gordon for the naming of the new House of Parliament was borne out of Gordon's activism and care for the disadvantaged in society as well as his role in Jamaica's political development.

Gordon House and many of the other structures on Duke Street are recognised heritage sites through the JNHT.

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