Oakton House Jamaica

The Oakton House, a stately wooden structure caught my eye. Located in Half Way Tree, Kingston, it’s a stone’s throw from the Old Courthouse that I wrote about a few posts ago.

It was probably built in the 19th century, during the height of Jamaica’s Georgian period (1702-1910), but no records have been found to show who the original owner was.

Oakton House
Oakton House

Oakton House has seen many incarnations. At one time, it was the rest stop for soldiers who were on their way from Spanish Town, the old capital, to their camp in the Blue Mountains.  It has been an exclusive school, was a guest house in the 1920s, and a private residence for a famous baker, W.E. Powell, who had his business a few doors away.

Oakton House
Oakton House

Oakton House was sold by Powell’s family to the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) in the 1930s and was used as a fire station until the 1960s. It was refurbished around 2003.

It wasn’t hard to miss the barbershop sign on the front of Oakton House — I was shocked to see it. The lower level is now a Burger King restaurant and from what I’ve read, they are now responsible for the building’s refurbishment.

Oakton House
Oakton House

Oakton is a typical Georgian structure with louvered, jalousie and sash windows which can be adjusted to regulate the flow of air and keep the building cool. It also has side verandahs with wide overhangs that shield the house from the rain and sun. The arches of the brick undercroft were originally open to allow proper ventilation for the wooden floors and upstairs living quarters.

Oakton House is on the register of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust as a historic property.


This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

46 comments on “Oakton House Jamaica

  1. Oh, Leigh, I wish! It’s one of my biggest disappointments that we’re not copying any of these details that would help keep our homes and offices cool. Offices, for example, depend a lot on a/c.

  2. What a handsome building, love the regularity of the windows and the symmetry of the stairs in front, elegant and unusual feature. I would have loved to have stayed there when it was a guest house, feeling the fans turning overhead, the breezes coming through the windows. Kudos to Burger King for taking on the maintenance of a historic building.

  3. I think my favorite is the wrap around patio. I’ve always wanted to have something like that in my house, even if it doesn’t completely wrap around. One day, perhaps I’ll finally get it. The arched stairway on the outside (instead of the inside) is genius.
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  4. I know people have already said this, but I love the staircase. It creates a new perspective at each angle it is looked at. I really like the history behind the building; it makes things quite mysterious! And I am really curious about the interior of the building. Nice post.

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