Make downtown Kingston the cultural hub
Edward Seaga

Dear Editor,

The idea of building a new structure to accommodate the National Museum of Sports at Independence Park is not in tune with Prime Minister Andrew Holness's deliberate economic objective of being catalytic. In my opinion, it does not mesh with the goal of positioning Kingston, particularly our capital district — downtown — as the cultural heartbeat of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Having the National Museum of Sports at Independence Park does very little to enhance the status of the park. Instead, I believe, more energy should be spent on modernising the National Stadium to become a top-rated internationally renowned track and field venue — separate from football.

In addition, Stadium East should be redeveloped into a fully covered, modern 'National Football Field' akin to any top English Premier Club home turf. Other efforts at Independence Park should include creating/maintaining a world-famous sculpture garden — 'National Dignity Sculpture Gardens' — for Jamaicans who have contributed, locally/internationally, to the performing arts and sports; establishing an outdoor amphitheatre — 'August 1962 National Amphitheatre'; building a multilevel paid parking lot; and improving the parameter fencing, which currently looks terrible.

Downtown Kingston, Harbour Street — across from the Jamaica Stock Exchange lies an unkempt lot with a historic building — is the ideal spot for the national sports museum. Not to stray from the discussion, in fact, as we moved to reposition that part of downtown, how about transforming the historic J Ray & Nephew building and the buildings directly across from it into the 'National Museum of Jamaica' — Mr Seaga's thoughts. These buildings could be attached with an overhead walkway.

To the east, the current National Library of Jamaica and the building housing the Institute of Jamaica could be refurbished to become the National Museum of Caribbean Music and the Performing Arts. Northward, the old Jamintel building could be refurbished to become 'Marcus M Garvey National Library of Jamaica'. The headquarters of the Institute of Jamaica could then be relocated to the building currently housing the Family Court on Duke Street. A new magistrate complex to accommodate the family court, traffic court, and the civil branch of the Supreme Court could be built on East Street across from Corporate Area-Civil Division Courthouse, which would then be designated as the future home of the 'Jamaica Court of Justice' (JCJ).

Michael Brown

miguelbro@yahoo.com

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