Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




Public History

First Advisor

Robert R Weyeneth


This thesis explores the myriad challenges to the preservation of Bermuda's Queen of the East brothel. Though Queen of the East has been widely regarded as one of the island's architectural and historical treasures, and despite Bermuda's stated commitment to the preservation of its architectural heritage, the building's fate remains uncertain. Research presented here suggests that the building's association with prostitution in public memory poses the greatest challenge to the building's preservation.

In order to understand the factors contributing to the building's present condition, this thesis probes the building's architectural fabric and history; the nature and composition of Bermuda's preservation framework; and local popular memory of the building's history. An architectural survey of the building's present conditions, review of its occupational and alteration history, description of the island's preservation policies, and review of popular opinion as printed in the local press are presented as evidence to Queen of the East's present condition. Architectural and archival research suggests that the building's problematical past poses the greatest threat to its survival. This thesis explores the myriad factors at play in preservation decisions at sites with problematical pasts, suggesting that public memory of problematical pasts poses a real and tangible threat with weight equal to, if not greater, than the other brick and mortar issues.


© 2014, Megan Elizabeth Southern

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