Bahamas homes vary in shape, style and sizes.
The early architecture of the Bahamas was influenced by the “Loyalists,” Americans loyal to the British Crown who fled here during the American War of Independence.
Homes and shops in the heart of Nassau Bahamas were built in the Georgian style. Stone was mostly used to build homes. The roofs, doors and window frames were made of timber, usually from the hearty pines from the island of Abaco, which were sadly decimated.
These Bahamas homes were often two or three stories high and had attics. They were rectangular shaped homes with trade mark quoins.
The Loyalists built most of the landmark buildings that stand today. These include the octagonal shaped jail, now a public library, in downtown Nassau, the courts, Houses of Parliament and the beautiful churches.
Government House on Duke Street is an imposing pink building guarded by a statue of Christopher Columbus. It has flowing gardens in the rear off the second floor balconies and ballroom.
Government House has graceful columns and a broad, circular drive reminiscent to great homes in the Carolinas where many of the Loyalists came to the Bahamas from.
Many of the old Bahamas homes have distinctive cross-laid cornerstones and lovely louvered wooden shutters and slats giving privacy and shade porches.
Homes on Eastern Road in Nassau Bahamas, while more simple, bear the Colonial charm of this period.
Elsewhere in Nassau, the Bahamas homes range from the typical middle income home found in America to opulent mansions in gated enclaves.
The poorer section of Nassau Bahamas, referred to as “Over-the Hill,” has small stone, wood or concrete homes painted in bright colours that match vibrant native flowers.
In the islands of the Bahamas, notably in Hope Town, Green Turtle Cay and Guana Cay, Abaco, and in Harbour Island, Eleuthera, charming Cape Cod-like cottages create a special ambience.
Although cramped by today’s standards, these homes are very much in demand and have a timeless beauty. The attics have dormer windows and serve as bedrooms.
Many a visitor has commented that these Bahamas homes remind them of homes in New England. © Athena Damianos