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The Havana Guide: Modern Architecture 1925-1965 Paperback – 1 Jan 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568982100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568982106
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,038,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eduardo Luis Rodriguez is the director of Cuba's architectural journal, Revista Arquitectura.

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Amazon.com: 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Havana Guide - perhaps a guide to paradise lost? 14 April 2005
By JRinPR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the various works of prominent Cuban architects from the 1920's until the beginning of the now almost five-decades-long Castro reign. The most recent creation depicted is from 1965; we can safely assume that probably all of the architects portrayed in this book went into exile in the sixties (author Eduardo Rodriguez does not make mention of a single one staying there).

The author still lives in Cuba, and rather than condemning the architects he writes about for having left the island, as is customary from Cubans who stayed there, he laments the loss of their talents. Photographs and blueprints are surprisingly plentiful and very interesting, however he is not clear upon whether they are recent photographs (on some it's obvious, because of the decay apparent on the building), or if they were taken at the time of completion. He is also inconsistent in informing readers of the present uses of said buildings (many homes are now diplomatic guest houses or residences, some government buildings are identified by the use given to them when Batista was in power. As an example, one is identified as the Lottery Building, an institution that Castro abolished shortly after taking power). He does let us know the present names of former high-class suburbs (those with anglo names such as Country Club or Vanderbilt were re-named by the Castroites).

The book makes evident what a diverse society Havana had at one time, as opposed to feeding you the oft-repeated stereotype of said city simply being a haven for casinos and mob-controlled hotels. It gives you an idea of what could have been, in light of the fact that these architects were very prolific at the time of the Revolution and that, by the author's own admission, there has been very little construction in Cuba since 1959.

Do not assume that The Havana Guide is solely for architects, however. It is also a book that will be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in Cuba. It may also serve as a trip back in time for those who lived in Havana and were able to see these buildings first-hand.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HAVANA ARCHITECTURE 1951-1960 THE BEST KEPT SECRET 20 Oct. 2012
By RAUL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a practicing architect in Havana between 1951 and 1960. I knew first hand the buildings shown in this book and their architects.This book is a graphic history of a culturally rich era that took place during those years in Cuba and this book should be in every architectural school, college and university in this country as well as in homes of those planning to visit Havana. The work of many architects that no longer are alive and some of us still practicing in the USA, is the best kept secrect of the Castro government. Thanks to Eduardo Luis Rodriguez the author of this book, photographs, location maps and accurate data has been recorded for posterity. Some of my buildings like the National Theater (pg 183), the House of Sixto Navarro (pg 208), and the Alfred de Schulthess House (pg 54,55) exhibited by the Cuban Government on May 2006 (50 years later) as an example of "tropical architecture" will be around for quite some time thanks to a reinforced concrete structure and masonry walls inside and out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great compilation of Cuban modernist architecture 20 Feb. 2011
By Fernando Martin Vázquez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
THE BOOK COMPILES MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE IN CUBA. YOU CAN GET REALLY SURPRISED ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THE DESIGN OF THE CONSTRUCTIONS BUILT IN THOSE YEARS IN CUBA. The author dedicates about a page to each building including pictures(B/W), plans and a short explanation. The book will be expecially interesting if you are travelling to Cuba(interested in architecture) because it divides the buildings depending on the areas where they are located.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Magnífico libro de arquitectura cubana 1 July 2008
By Javier Perera Fernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Es un libro excelente sobre arquitectura cubana, sobre un período además poco documentado y del que desgraciadamente van quedando pocos exponentes en Cuba. Imprescindible para comprender la evolución de la arquitectura en Cuba.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Last Word on Cuban Modernist Architecture 27 July 2010
By James J. Varela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when it came out in 2000 and was floored at the beauty of Cuban modernism. This book contains many rare photos and biographies of the Cuba's noted Architects of the pre Castro era. Sadly most of these masterpieces were not appreciated by the Communists and although many have been preserved as diplomat homes and homes for party members and other government officials, ( Castro lives in Siboney ) , the majority of were ruined by over use and under-maintenance as was Cuba in general.
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