01 June 2015

Cuba: houses

The eclectic mix of houses in Havana was delightful. Lots of Hispanic influence, not surprisingly. Mostly in stone and plenty of decorative elements. The condition of the houses varied quite a bit. Some were in good shape and consistent style.
Others showed evidence of extra floors being added or inserted.
Since many houses are home to multiple generations, it isn't surprising that more space on the same footprint has to be figured out.

We passed this house at least twice while on the bus. Its dusty rose exterior and long rectangular shape reminded me of a villa in Vittoria, Sicily. Not similar in style or even size but evocative.

Apartment houses varied considerably too.
Courtyard building on the Malecón, near the Hotel Nacional where we stayed.
There was an installation of works by Felipe Dulzaides in a 29th-floor penthouse in the green-and-white building in the background. The show was great and the views were stupendous.
(there was an art opening on the third floor of the building on the right so we got to see the interior of that apartment and go out on the balcony for a view over the neighborhood)

The buying and selling of houses is one of the reforms enacted in the past few years with the presidency of Raoul Castro. This may be part of the reason that you see a broken-down house or empty lot left between other houses; no one could buy the lot for (re)construction.

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