Glass house article wrong

Editor’s note: The following letter was prompted after the Caymanian Compass published an article from the Ministry of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture & Housing. It was not a report generated by the journalists at Cayman Free Press.

I am writing to you on behalf of my 86-year-old father-in-law, Mr. Conrad Rutkowski, concerning articles printed in the Cayman Net News on 27 November and in the Caymanian Compass 5 Wednesday, both titled ‘Glass House Architect Visits’ and which originate from a Government press release issued on 23 November, 2007.

Unfortunately, the entire basis of the press release and, therefore your articles, is a falsehood and it appears as if Government officials were deceived by a trickster.

Whilst it is true that Mr. Richard Brandon was a junior partner at the architectural/engineering firm of Rutkowski, Bradford and Partners in Jamaica at and around the time the L.A. Building, Courts House and Glass House were built, it is also true that he had absolutely nothing to do with the design or construction of any of those buildings.

Furthermore, at no time during that period in question was Mr. Brandon sent by the firm of Rutkowski, Bradford and Partners to the Cayman Islands as a representative of that firm.

In fact, Mr. Conrad Rutkowski and Mr. Herbert Bradford, the senior partners of Rutkowski, Bradford and Partners became personally involved in the projects and Mr. Conrad Rutkowski assumed all responsibility for the construction management and completion of these buildings.

The actual design work for these buildings was carried out by two very talented architects, namely Mr. Kevin Houghton and Mr. Carl Beltcher, under the supervision of Mr. Herbert Bradford. Engineering design work was carried out by Mr. John Scarlett. The interior of these buildings was designed by Mrs. Wanda Domerecki, who also standardised the Cayman Coat of Arms and designed the official Mace of the Cayman Islands together with Mrs. Sybil McLaughlin, the then clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Other individuals close to the projects were Sir Vassel Johnson, then financial secretary, Mr. Harry McCoy and Mr. Vernon Jackson (principal secretaries), and Mr. Jack O’Connell and Mr. Cyril Garbutt of Rutkowski, Bradford and Partners.

Mr. Brandon’s further statements that the extensive use of glass in the Glass House was his idea: ‘to give a nice reflection of trees’ and to ‘make the building glow like a lantern’ are completely false. In fact, the decision to design Glass House in this way was taken because it was considered the most expedient way to replace the old Government Administration Building, which had burned down a short time before and therefore to meet the urgent need for a replacement.

The contribution of Mr. Conrad Rutkowski to these projects is perhaps best described by the words of Sir Vassel Johnson who penned the following to Mr. Rutkowski in 1994, in response to a letter of congratulations upon Sir Vassel’s knighthood, sent by Mr. Rutkowski:

‘When I received your card, my mind went back to when we first met, Conrad, at the time you designed the Legislative Assembly and Courts Building. Their creation was the beginning of the tremendous development of infrastructure upon which our prosperity was built. As one who was so prominently involved, I want to thank you very sincerely for assisting my dreams of success [for the Cayman Islands]. The honour [Sir Vassel’s knighthood] was meant to be shared with people like you.’

Daniel Priestley