Gerechtsgebouw J.G. Emanstraat 51

On March 3, 1936, the then new government building was inaugurated. This was the third government building of Aruba, after the governor’s residence and the central government’s office building located on the Zoutmanstraat. The building is almost East-West orientated.

In March 1934 it was evident that the central government’s office building could not house the governor’s residence anymore. From March 1934 to the end of February 1936, the first magistrate of the island resided in the store of B.J. (Brenchi) Arends. Also the government building inaugurated in 1936 soon appeared to be too small. The DOW design dated 20-VI-1936 regards an expansion on the west side for the post office. Internal indicated spaces for the various mailing procedures. It is likely that this western wing came about in 1936-1937. The post office had to move again after a few years. In 1951 the building was not capable anymore to house the population register and civil register. “In the government’s building it kept turning this way and that”. A strange combination of public departments was seen sometimes together in one room.  At a certain moment part of the Domain Administrator‘s Office was in the public library. At another time the accountant department was housed in a corner of the room where the judiciary office was established. When the Islands Agreements were introduced in 1951 which made the governments’ decentralization possible, Governor Kwartsz evacuated the passanggrahan. This building, which was built in 1942 as an officer’s canteen and quarters and after the Second World War had served as the governor’s lodge, received its third function: after the renovation the governor and the deputies moved into it on Wednesday, February 25, 1953, after which the other government and island departments followed. “The southern wing, where the Department of Finance is established, was an addition. The old government’s office of 1936 remained reserved for the central government services and the judiciary office”. (Hartog 1953, p.345-346).

The construction did not take place completely according to the designs. The initially planned gallery at the back side (N) has never been executed (as was friendly told by Hubert Maduro). Several times the building has been expanded. Just before the Second World War a wing was built on at the Northeast side; this adjacent wing is excluded from protection of the monuments regulations. Also the later expansions and breakings are out of the protection regulations.

N.B. The windows and the doors have recently been renovated. These are not part of the protection regulations. On the front facade there were simple concrete awnings above the entrances. These were situated on the left side (post office) above each of the two entrances, as well as above the main entrance in the central part (Court of Justice) and above the entrance to the governor’s office.  

Recently a classicistic portico on four pairs of coupled columns was placed before the main entrance. This is emphatically out of the protection regulations. The fire escape stairway against the back side of the central building and the changes to the nearby window, are also outside the protection regulations.


For more information regarding this building you can contact the Monuments Office.


                                                           Composed by the Monuments Office      

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