The Arcos Building is Falling to Pieces / Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro

edificiosPhotos by Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro

HAVANA, Cuba , August, – The Arcos building is in the block formed by
F and E, between 19 and 21 in Vedado. Everyone in Havana knows this unusual building built in the 1930s in the middle of one of the deepest ravines in Vedado.

It’s bad state of repair presents a serious danger to the many families living there, and the tourists who visit it as an example of rare architecture.

One of the neighbors, who asked not to be named, said that they have exhausted all possible official channels for requesting the reconstruction of the old building.

“This building has 71 apartments and is built in an ancient ravine in Vedado that we Havanans call ‘the hole.’ The Department of Multi-Unit Housing promises, the Plaza municipal government promises, the provincial government promises, they ensnare you and do nothing. Everyone is brazen, sh..politicians.”

The facts bear out this neighbor. For a long time now the structure of this property has been suffering as a result of the passage of time, lack of maintenance and neglect of the authorities.

The atypical characteristics of this building require specialized reconstructive procedures. Partial collapses have occurred, for example in the passageway that accesses the apartments from the entrance on 19th Street.

At present, the staircase leading to 19th is virtually collapsed. This staircase, and a long exterior passageway in the form of a balcony, connect 21st Street with 19th Street.

The route allowed pedestrians to avoid the obstacle of the deep and long ravine that cuts across F street in that area. The neighbors decided to avoid greater evils by blocking the way and placing signs warning of the danger.

You can see that the stair supports are broken, weakening it. From another angle, coming from 19th, the principal column that supports the stairs is extremely damaged.

Also the base and the support columns of the building all require attention. A photo accompanying this note is in eloquent in itself. It shows a sign painted by the neighbors which states : “We need help (now), responsibility and the promises to be met. We hope not to face the displeasure of putting ourselves dead.” (sic)

27 August 2013

From Cubanet