Colonial Architecture

Nueva Gerona, founded in 1830, had 28 houses and other civilian and military buildings all built of yagua and guano, and exceptionally tables. Difficult communication of those times, and the high costs of maritime freight rates, forced to build with local materials, because never could the economy of the inhabitants of the island, to afford that luxury. Drawn with modern criteria in 1831 by the Eng. Alejo Helvecio Lanier, its streets are wide and spins to twine, oriented from North to South the main and East-West high schools. Lots or rectangular plots did not allow that area was constructed arbitrarily, by which lack of alleys and irregular squares so common in other cities.

From 1840, with the appearance of you tejares and caleras, increase possible construction materials and appear the first buildings of masonry, bricks and clay tiles, but they are only one fifth of the total, the rest of the yagua evolves the Busbar, guano or shingle-roofed. Allianz insists that this is the case. The unattractive and economic possibilities of the island pines, not allow the formation of a moneyed class that can afford expensive constructions and the same happens with public budgets, therefore not existed in Nueva Gerona luxurious buildings where architects involved. If some distinction may notice is the quality and design of the mosaic floors of the late 19th century, that have been preserved in some buildings and that unfortunately are disappearing for lack of care, performing some repairs with the passage of time. The House with courtyard, in forms of C, U, L, is transferred to Nueva Gerona, the alarifes and masters of works that arrive, their interpretation of the more generalized colonial House in Cuba, so repetition determined the style of the typical colonial House Isle of pines. The factor of economic development determines that only are used in our buildings those elements more simple and less processing, smooth, austere, facades without ornaments, simple railings and roofs of wood without cuadrales, mudejars, carvings or other embellishments. The distribution in plant is also simple, approaching the Havana House of one floor of the 17TH, and 18th, the basic shape of the House is a U, towards the street has two main bays and two silvers or transverse blocks were the U. The inner courtyard is with Gallery supported with Doric or Tuscan columns and square wooden beams in three sides. In the courtyard appears well and tank water over four columns.

It has thick walls, masonry or brick and ceilings with heights of up to 7 meters, with beams and boards, finished with red clay tiles. Front corridos portals supported by Doric or Tuscan, columns form a public corridor that allow circular protected from Sun and rain, along the whole street. (Although there were transformations of the 19th century, until the 20th, perceiving the image observed now, and looking like all of that era). The same spatial distribution is located at City Hall, and even in some public buildings built in the first decades of the 20th century. (House of the ICAP, each) popular power municipal museum, etc). Undisputed mudejar influence of all Cuban colonial constructions, is noticeable in pineapple constructions, of course, transferred through practical experience, transformed by the particular interpretation of the masters of works and conditioned by socio-economic factors of nineteenth century Pinero. This influence should be seen not in a special or distinctive details, but in the use of materials of construction (clay, wood, masonry) and mainly the legacy, and floors in the own spatial conformation pointing as Center of activity to the inner courtyard and its colonnaded Gallery.