Demolition request for 17th century house near Fenech Adami residence

Flimkien Ghall-Ambjent Ahjar are objecting to the demolition of what has been described as “possibly the oldest building in Birkirkara”.

According to FAA the building is unquestionably “one of cultural, social and historic value and should be protected, retained and restored”.
According to FAA the building is unquestionably “one of cultural, social and historic value and should be protected, retained and restored”.

Flimkien Ghall-Ambjent Ahjar are objecting to the demolition of what has been described as “possibly the oldest building in Birkirkara”.

Developers want to demolish what was described as a “dilapidated building” inside Birkirkara’s urban conservation area, adjacent to the residence of former President and Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami.

Although clearly neglected, the building’s features such as its stone-work around the door could hark back prior to the Victorian era when most of the buildings along the High Street were constructed.

According to FAA the building is unquestionably “one of cultural, social and historic value and should be protected, retained and restored”.

According to art historian Mario Buhagiar, stylistic and technical considerations suggest that the house dates back to the late 16th or early 17th century.

This would make the building one of the last standing reminders of pre-19th century Birkirkara, one of Malta’s oldest towns mentioned in a 1436 Ecclesiastical Report.

An architect familiar with the area indicated that the building could be an old farmstead which found itself surrounded by more modern buildings as the town grew in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The demolition would make way for an office at ground floor and three residential units at first, second and third floor. The Planning Authority had already approved the demolition of the building in February 1998 despite a recommendation by the case officer to refuse. Despite the permit, the development was never carried out and the permit has since expired.

The application in question still has to be assessed by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage.

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