Queen’s Royal College

The brilliant red facade and German Renaissance architectural features of the Queen’s Royal College truly make this structure one of the most striking of the Magnificent Seven mansions, situated around the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain. The building was officially opened in 1904 and boasts of a 93-foot tall clock tower which houses a gifted King Edward VII Memorial Clock and incorporates tropical architectural adaptations such as open corridors and galleries to facilitate ventilation in the Caribbean climate.

Queen’s Royal College, referred to for short as QRC, or “The College” by alumni, is a secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago. Still regarded as the bastion of secondary school education for boys, Queen’s Royal College is situated at the corner of St Clair Avenue and Maraval Road. The main block, so called because it was the first structure on the site, stands majestic, complete with a lighted clock tower and chiming clock. Queen’s Royal College is considered to be the most striking of the buildings of the Magnificent Seven.

The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1902, by Sir Courtney Knollys, who was the acting governor of the day. The structure was designed by Daniel M Hahn, who was Chief Draughtsman of the Public Works Department and the old boy of Queen’s Royal College, during the period when the school was housed at the Prince’s Building.

The architecture of the main block is German Renaissance in style, evident by its solid appearance. Constructed at a cost of 15,000 pounds, the original building accommodated six classrooms of 30 boys each. The lecture hall could hold over five hundred persons at a time when the student population was less than two hundred.

Notwithstanding the German origin of the plan, a legacy perhaps of Mr. Hahn’s student days in Berlin, the design of the interior is very definitely tropical with a delightfully aristocratic touch from the days when European school architecture was austere. The grandeur of the main block made a great deal of sense and even if today’s old traditions are no longer, there is no escaping the eloquence of any public edifice with outspans living memory as the main block soon will. Restoration of Queen’s Royal College is virtually complete, all original elements and colours having been carefully restored. These include hand painted dado murals which originally decorated the classrooms.

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