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John Newel Lewis

John Newel Lewis (b.1920 d.1991) Self Portrait

Written by Geoffrey MacLean

John Newel Lewis was born in London in 1920 to an Irish mother and a Welsh father. He worked as an architect in Czechoslovakia and London before migrating to Trinidad in 1953 when he joined the architectural firm of Mence and Moore as a partner. The firm’s name was subsequently changed to Newel Lewis Broadbridge Associates and after his death NLBA Architects.

Newel Lewis was one of the founder members of Citizens for Conservation and coined the phrase “George Brown Uprising” after the organisation’s first public protest when plans had been made to demolish the “George Brown House”, one of the prime examples of Trinidad and Tobago’s late nineteenth century homes on the Queen’s Park Savannah. The house was saved and subsequently restored. Newel Lewis promoted the conservation and preservation of Trinidad and Tobago’s Architectural Heritage until his death in 1991. His sketches and watercolours continue to be an important record of Trinidad and Tobago’s architecture and landscape. His newspaper cartoons were a very popular form of local “picong“.

In 1973 Newel Lewis was awarded the Humming Bird (Gold) medal for his contribution to Trinidad and Tobago in the field of architecture. Included in his publications are: Nobody in his right mind (on the history of Carnival in Trinidad);Ajoupa/Architecture of the CaribbeanKillarney Stollmeyer’s Castle and Watercolours of the Caribbean.

Killarney Stollmeyer’s Castle
John Newel Lewis
Aquarela Galleries 1988

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