The historic Warrens Great House, to the north-western corner of the CIBC FirstCaribbean Headquarters site, has been given a new lease on life, following a substantial facelift by its owners, CIBC FirstCaribbean.

The building, which dates back to the late 17th century, is one of the seven original great houses in Barbados, and was first owned by the Sutton family, who in 1674 purchased what would become known as Warrens Plantation, named for its next owner, Robert Warren.

An 18th century expansion and renovation added many of the Georgian features currently seen in the house. All these features are being carefully preserved as part of the current scope of works.

The building had fallen into a state of disrepair, and the bank took the opportunity to acquire it after it was vacated by the previous occupants. A number of issues have been remediated during the restoration, including any environmental concerns relating to the age of this historic property.

The work is being conducted by the firm, Gillespie & Steel Associates Ltd., who have worked on a number of similar projects, among them Arlington House, George Washington House and the former Masonic Lodge in Bridgetown.

CIBC FirstCaribbean CEO, Gary Brown, said that the reasoning behind the project was two-fold: as a leading corporate citizen, CIBC FirstCaribbean recognized an opportunity to contribute to preserving Barbados’ heritage, at the same time providing additional space required for its operations.

The Warrens Great House will become a multi-purpose building, housing conference rooms, the bank’s training center, project development space and an area for hosting client receptions.

We are excited to turn this historic building into a facility that our employees and clients will enjoy. We recognize that this building is a significant part of Barbados’ history. We were pleased with the opportunity to restore it to its original beauty, while outfitting it for the tasks we need it for in the 21st Century. Imagine therefore the old fireplace and magnificent staircase existing harmoniously alongside digital communications capabilities and the Agile methodology we intend to adopt for our new product design initiatives. We think the original builders of the Great House would be pleased that their handiwork has survived to this day and is being restored with their work still kept in mind.”

The work on the Warren’s Great House is expected to be completed in January 2018.

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