I had the opportunity to visit Cuba in 2004 through a Centerbrook Travel Grant in conjunction with an educational program sponsored by the Center for Cuban Studies in New York. The tour was led by architect Robert Mayers, who had significant contacts with artists, architects, and urban planners from his six or seven previous trips to Cuba.
Why Cuba? My choice was based upon recommendations from friends and relatives who returned from Cuba raving about its people, its culture, and especially its architecture. Havana is a stunning city with extraordinary variety in its built environment. Layered upon this is 50 years of decay, the result of political turmoil and significant economic hardship. Urban development came to a halt in the mid 1960s, rendering an architecture frozen in time. Many believe that once Fidel Castro dies, Cuba will change rapidly. I wanted to see Cuba before redevelopment occurs. Continue reading Cuba – The Pearl of the Caribbean