In 1860 Malta saw the arrival of architect Webster Paulson who was employed by the Public Works Department as a Clerk of Works. One of the buildings he designed, and still standing, is Casino Notabile, up Saqqajja Hill. Built in 1887, the Casino was meant to be the club for the high society living in Mdina and Rabat. Its architecture is eye-catching.
It replaced a wash house built around 100 years earlier where the local women had a sheltered place to wash clothes. Although dry, it still stands today. The Casino Notabile is excessively ornate but this was to be expected of Paulson, who had made the Malta stone his own.
This jewel in Maltese stone requires immediate maintenance and hopefully a creative mind to restore it back to life. Yet it remains abandoned in what appears at first sight to be a case of singular bureaucratic lethargy.
The first 'major' issue was whether the building fell under the responsibility of the Rabat or Mdina council. Has this most complicated perhaps? If a decision has been made, can we be informed of plans that the responsible council has for Casino Notabile?
The building is ideal for conversion into a centre of artistic endeavour where artists can meet to discuss expressions and to put up exhibitions.
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