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Plaza Vieja Havana Cuba -  renovations

Havana Buildings: Restoring the Old City

Many of the historical buildings are crumbling and in decay. The Old City looks like a huge open air museum. UNESCO declared Havana a
"World Heritage Site" and with the aid of Unesco over two square kilometres in the Old City were restored in collaboration with the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana represented by his chief Eusebio Leal.
A beautiful square such as Plaza Vieja (Old Square)(picture above) is almost completly restored and the restorations in the side streets are started too.
The concepts used in the restoration process were praised by independent experts and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, they were proposed as a model for the rest of Latin America. Havana malecon view

Restoring the Malecon

The construction of the seaside boulevard began in the early 1900's and around 1920 it became the main route along Havana City with a length of over 8 kms and six lanes.
The wide promenade is also a place for Cultural and Political manifestations.
Many of the historical buildings along the Malecon are in decay and heavily exposed to influences of the sun and the nearby sea.
Several restoration projects are in execution between the Paseo del Prado and the hotel Deauville section of the Malecon.

Havana Malecon restoration of street lamps havana Malecon cuba

Restoration and painting of the historical street lanterns (left above)and restoration of the buildings along the Malecon
(pictures May 2009)

 Malecon restoration la Habana  Malecon restoration


The first skyscraper in the city was the López Serrano building located at 13th and L streets, Vedado district. This building with twenty floors looks like a smaller copy of the Empire State Building in New York.
The building was named after José Lopez Rodriguez, a poor immigrant from Spain who arrived at the age of nineteen and became one of the major millionaires in Cuba.

Lopez Serrano building Havana Cuba

Lopez Serrano building Vedado

FOCSA Building (1956)

This big building located at 17th and M street in the Vedado district is a 35-storey complex that contains over 400 penthouses and apartments. At the top floor is the restaurant La Torre with a panoramic view over entire City. It's been said that this was the tallest building in the world at that time.
Nowdays the building is in decay and needs maintenance.

Focsa building Havana Cuba

Focsa building - Vedado district

 Focsa Havana Cuba View over the city

Stunning views over the City
view from restaurant LA TORRE on top of the FOCSA building

BACARDI Building

Bacardi building Havana One of the finest Art Deco buildings is located at the Avenida de Belgica (Avenue of Belgium) The Bacardi building a jewel of Cuban Architecture was longtime the highest point in the city. The building was property of Don Emilo Bacardi founder of the Bacardi Imperium and after the Revolution confiscated by the Cuban Government. In the year 2001 the building was restored with its original decorations, beautiful marbles and Cuban Art Deco accessories.

Photo: courtesy of Annie Mole

Havana Architecture

In the 30's and before the Castro era, Havana was the biggest and wealthiest port in the Caribbean and Latin America. Havana on its best, an abundance of palaces, manors, haciendas owned by the Sugar and Tabacco Barons and other wealthy businessmen. Havana was named: La Habana Elegante, the Paris of Latin America.

The Decline of Havana Buildings
Nowdays the beautiful city is in decay, lots of crumbling buildings and no budget for renovations. In 1982, Old Havana was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Among the protected areas, the Cathedral square, the Old Square (Plaza Vieja) and the Old Havana Fortifications.

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