The Salvatori building, located at the corner of Independence Square and Frederick Street, Port of Spain was erected in 1961 by Williams and Williams, Architect and Builders. It was owned by Salvatori, Scott and Company, a company founded by Joseph Henry Salvatori. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest building in the city.
Mr. Salvatori was born in 1880 in France and was educated at the College Aix En Provence, near Marseilles. He came to Trinidad in 1910 to liquidate some of his uncle's property interests and remained to work in the cocoa business. In 1913 Mr. Salvatori acquired a dry goods concern, Wilson Sons & Co. He entered into partnership with Mr. C.W Scott formerly of Wilson Sons & Co under the name "Salvatori, Scott and Company". On the death of Mr. Scott in 1919 Mr. Salvatori assumed full responsibility for the company. He formed a limited liability company of which he was the Governing Director.
Salvatori building housed a general store which occupied three storeys. The store consisted of fifteen (15) distinct departments which specialised in dry goods of all lines including dresses, hats, cosmetics, jewellery, crockery household goods, furniture, stationery, children's and babies' outfits and general hardware. Employing over two hundred and fifty (250) persons, Salvatori Scott and Co. Ltd.'s general store gained the reputation of being the largest and most extensive concern in Trinidad and the British West Indies. The store ceased operations in the early 1970s.
The building was then used to house several Government Ministries and Agencies including:
Ministry of Petroleum and Mines
Management Development Centre
Elections and Boundaries Commission
General Post Office
These remained until the 1990's when the building was advertised for sale. It was eventually purchased by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. In April 2006 demolition of the building commenced. The present site is earmarked for a new development which may include a plaza and parking facilities.
Changing Face of Port of Spain