Last night, at the home of some friends, where some architects were gathered, one of them, very well-connected, told us that he was very sure that they were going to demolish the Varadero Hotel International, to use its grounds to build a very dull one, certainly, just like any of the thousands spread along the different tourist beaches of the world.
I think I felt pressured, because I was indignant, impotent, sad and my face turned red, thinking that this was imminent.
I thought then of the marvelous art deco hotels I knew as a child when we went to Miami, and on returning to that beach, fifty years later, I saw, shining, as if it had just been built, emerging proudly between its two younger siblings, but much larger in size. I felt a deep satisfaction to see how reasonable people were able to defend more than the monetary value of the land, the historical memory of a country.
Just like Miami Beach would be like any beach, with hotels like you can find in any resort in any country, except that there is a but that distinguishes it and sets it apart: it’s art deco hotels and its Fountainebleau from the fifties, far from devaluing it, it made it more valuable.
From here I call on everyone who, like me, would like to preserve the architectural values and memory of a country, write to the authorities of my planet, call for the salvation of the Veradero International Hotel, its flagship hotel. This beautiful beach has already lost too much to let apathy do away with its beautiful bungalows that so distinguish it.
October 12, 2010