Havana’s Miramar and Kholy districts are mostly residential and feature some of Cuba’s best Art Deco houses. You’ll find much more Deco that what’s covered here but these are the ones not to miss. I’m a big fan of walking Havana, but if you want to see all of these places you may want to grab a taxi. These aren’t typical tourist spots but they’re on the Havana Art Deco map.
Arguelles residence – Aveneda 5 @ 22nd Street. With it’s Art Deco figures and and stylized floral designs, the Arguelles house is easily one of the best Deco homes in Havana. Alas, it could be in better repair and the wonderful crocodile window I photographed in 1999 has been replaced with plain glass. Current use: commercial.
On a busy corner at 2808 – 3rd Avenue, between 28th and 30 streets is the unique Ricardo Hernandez Beguerie house. Looking something like a 1940s gas station, this place is all about blocks with rounded corners. Not only does the garage match the house; the “fence” surrounding the property is part of the package, too. Like the Arguelles house, this one has seen better days. It’s a private residence.
In much better shape and nearly restored is the Solomon Kalmanowitz house at #4517 – 28th Street. Here are before and after shots about 14 years apart. The house is currently a private residence.
South of Miramar is Kohly. Streets can get confusing here, but it’s worth it to see the gorgeous Manuel Lopez Chavez residence at Aveneda 41 and 44-A Street. It’s gorgeous and beautifully restored. Currently a private residence. As Havana’s Art Deco houses go, this one’s in the top two or three.
Another impressive Deco home that’s pure Streamline Moderne is the Gonzalo Arostegui Residence at 14th Street @ 49c. A little tough to find but knowing that the rear of the house faces the river (Rio Almendares) may help. This one’s is currently used by a business.
Kohly is also home to the Cinema Arenal (Aveneda 41 between 30th and 34th Streets). With it’s ziggurat shaped posts, the Arenal is certainly worth a look if you’re in the area.
As I’m wrapping up this post I realize there is still more to cover, which I’ll do in the next installment.