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Pedro St. James

The first-ever meeting of like-minded individuals coming together to discuss the possible legislative future of the Cayman Islands took place on 5 December 1831 at the now beautifully restored great house, Pedro St. James, in the fertile area of Savannah on Grand Cayman. This building is now revered as the seat of parliamentary beginnings in the Cayman Islands.

The Legislative Assembly of Justices and Vestry was meeting in the Court House on the waterfront. By 1909 what got established as the Legislative Assembly of Justices and Vestry was meeting in the Court House on the waterfront in what is at present the headquarters of the Cayman Islands National Museum, right in front of Hog Sty Bay and the cruise passenger arrival terminal. The building served as the seat of government, the court house and the legislature in its heyday. Now it is the home of the Cayman Islands National Museum in a fitting tribute to its historic past.

The present Legislative Assembly building

The present Legislative Assembly building was built on the site of the former Princess Royal Park. The building design was the subject of some controversy when selected as the winner of an international architectural competition. Being the first poured concrete public building in Cayman, we didn’t yet have the modern techniques, so the concrete was mixed on the street and poured pail by pail by a sort of bucket brigade. Note that the cornerstone was laid by Captain Rayal Brazly Bodden, MBE, JP, on 29 September 1971. The building was completed in July 1972. (Source: National Trust Cayman Islands – An Historical Walking Tour - Central George Town)

By 2003, the legislature had outgrown the space and the building was in need of renovating. Repair and refurbishment work on the Legislative Assembly building began in February 2003, not only adding as much more space as possible through reconfiguration of the floor space, but also to renovate and refurbish portions of the interior, including the main chamber itself.

The newly refurbished Legislative Assembly building

The newly refurbished and expanded building was inaugurated with the opening of the Legislature session on 2 July 2004, a scant two months before Hurricane Ivan — one of the worst hurricanes of the Atlantic season which almost completely devastated Grand Cayman over a two day period (11-12 September 2004). The LA building withstood the storm with minor damage to its roof.

Last Updated: 2007-08-13