|Mille Fleurs, aka Prada House|
Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, Clifton De Coteau told reporters Cabinet has approved the money to repair Mille Fleurs. The historic structure was built in 1904 by renowned builder, George Brown, on what used to be known as the St Clair Farm.
The building, also known as Prada House, was built for the wife of the mayor of Port of Spain at the time, Dr Enrique Prada. She gave it the name Mille Fleurs.
The design was from the early French Renaissance period, with wrought iron fretwork that was common in the town-house style of the period.
The Pradas sold the house in 1923 to Joseph Salvatori, and the Salvatori family occupied it until 1971. It passed on to Mrs. Pierre Lelong, who kept it for two years, and in 1973 sold it to George Matouk. Six years later, the government acquired Mille Fleurs for about $1 million.
Speaking at the post cabinet news conference, De Coteau said the building is in poor shape. "It has reached a point that with the rainfall the building will collapse, especially the top," he said. As such, Cabinet has approved $170,000 for emergency stabilisation works,” De Coteau said.
The minister said the work on the building would be completed by March 2015. He said the value of the proerty would be about $46.6 million.