ST. CROIX — Governor Albert Bryan is now living in Government House on St. Croix, Government House announced via release today. (The Consortium learned of the move a few days ago, and it was mentioned in a story published earlier today relative to Mr. Bryan’s lodging in St. Thomas.)
Government House made it a point of noting that Mr. Bryan’s and his family’s full-time move to the historic building in downtown Christiansted was the first time a governor had done so in 30 years. The governor’s wife, Yolanda Bryan, and the couple’s younger daughter, Sumayah Bryan, will also reside in the building.
Aliyah Bryan, the elder daughter of the governor and Mrs. Bryan, attends college in Georgia and will reside at the residence during visits home. Kobe, the family’s schnauzer-breed dog is also settling into the residence located on the third floor of Government House, the release said.
Former Governor Kenneth Mapp, Mr. Bryan’s predecessor, resided at his home on St. Croix, but would spend a considerable amount of time at Government House in Christiansted.
According to the release, Government House in St. Thomas is under renovation. The third floor initially housed residences but had been utilized as offices in previous administrations. The current renovation and design plans will be converting it back into a residence also available to the governor and his family.
“We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors alike to St. Croix’s Government House,” Mr. Bryan said. “I love history, so it has been a pleasure getting to know more about the surroundings in which I live and work. It is quite humbling to remember that the structure was built by the hands and sweat of the brow of many of our Virgin Islands ancestors. We will be very respectful of their legacy. ”
The release said St. Croix’s Government House is two houses joined by an open gallery. The largest house was built in 1747 and purchased from a prominent merchant, Johan Wilbem Schopen in 1771. The other house, completed in 1797, was purchased in 1826 from Major Adam Sobotker, a merchant and army officer. The most extensive restoration on the buildings to date was in 1995.
Mrs. Bryan said she has been busy making the residence as comfortable for her family as possible and has been adding special touches to make it feel like home, according to the release.
“The artifacts and antique furniture are lovely, and while we are rearranging a bit to fit our needs, we are cognizant of the value of these items and will protect what has been entrusted to us by the people of Virgin Islands,” Mrs. Bryan said.
She added, “I really enjoy the view of Christiansted town from our gallery, meeting visitors to Government House, and visiting with the merchants in town. I plan to host activities, especially in the courtyard, where our residents and visitors of all ages will be able to share in the appreciation of our beautiful surroundings.”
According to the Revised Organic Act of 1954 Section 11 Paragraph 2, “The Governor shall maintain his official residence in the Government House on Saint Thomas during his incumbency, which house, together with land appurtenant thereto, is hereby transferred to the government of the Virgin Islands. While in Saint Croix the governor may reside in Government House on Saint Croix, which house together with land appurtenant thereto is also transferred to the government of the Virgin Islands.”
Feature Image: Governor Bryan and First Lady Yolanda Bryan pose for a photo with dog Coby in the third-floor residence of Government House in Christiansted, St. Croix. (Credit: Government House)