Five Hundred Years of Architecture: A Comprehensive Analysis of Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Efforts in Havana, Cuba: A Comprehensive Analysis of Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Efforts in Havana, Cuba

By Melissa Santana.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study is to investigate the needs, challenges, and current policies of historic preservation and rehabilitation in Havana. During the summer of 2010, Cuba experienced some very dramatic political and economic changes. In a September 8th article from The Atlantic a well-respected journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, reported that Fidel Castro stated the Cuban model is no longer working for Cuba. Due to the many new changes this year, it’s more apparent than ever that the U.S. embargo on Cuba may be lifted in the near future. But what would that mean for Havana’s 500 years of rich, architectural history? The only reason that the buildings are still standing today is because of pure benign neglect and a lack of modern urbanization. Before the influx of American development, if and when the embargo ends, it is important to educate American interior designers and architects on the unique, sensitive issues associated with Cuban development, and the need for restoring and converting historical interiors into new, more productive spaces. Relevant literature was reviewed to compile information on what needs, challenges, and current preservation policies exist in Havana. The process of mapping out key neighborhoods in Havana was also used to illustrate which areas contain particular styles of buildings, and to track the progress of current preservation efforts.

Keywords: Havana, Cuba, Rehabilitation, Embargo, Historic Preservation

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.21-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.837MB).

Melissa Santana

Graduate Student, Department of Design, The College of Fine Arts and Design, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA