PINAR DEL RIO


support babalú


Your donations help fund
our continued operation

do you babalú?

what they’re saying


bestlatinosmall.jpg

quotes.gif

activism


ozt_bilingual


buclbanner

recommended reading





babalú features





recent comments


  • asombra: Now, now; I expect he likes guava pastelitos, or is ready to claim he does, which of course makes him OK. Seriously, if Reno was...

  • Humberto Fontova: Welcome to the Twilight Zone, Rosita Paya. http://babalublog.com/2014/03/ 07/welcome-to-the-twilight-...

  • asombra: Good luck with that, hon. You can always be dismissed as a paranoid hysteric (you know, like “those people”) and/or...

  • asombra: For what it’s worth, Flake looks even more fruity than Charlie Crist.

  • asombra: Castro, Inc. is a parasite and a whore, but alas, such creatures haven’t been around forever for nothing.

search babalu

babalú archives

frequent topics


elsewhere on the net



realclearworld

Reports from Cuba: The Ghost of a Preventable Death

By Rebeca Monzo in Translating Cuba:

The Ghost of a Preventable Death

It is painful and embarrassing to travel along the Avenue of the Presidents, more commonly known as G Street and, on reaching the huge monument erected to  President José Miguel Gómez, which fortunately is solid and erect, to glance to the right and observe with amazement this enormous skeletal ghost of what was the Pedro Borras Hospital, the largest example of the Art Deco style in America, dedicated to health, a work of the architects Govantes and Cobarroca, whose work was similar in style and use, but not as big, as that found in Chicago, USA, in perfect condition and providing medical services, while ours is a victim of abandonment and government neglect, which has left it in its current sad state.

The official media blames its deterioration on structural deficiencies that never existed, but they don’t speak of the detonations carried out on the sidewalk in front of it at the foot of Calixto Garcia Hospital, when the fever of explosions to build tunnels, ordered by the official Nomenklatura, infected the whole city, which very possibly caused the damage to its structure. Nor was it ever adequately maintained, nor was the damage that was caused repaired, despite the fact that more than thirty years ago a group of architects, concerned about the conservation of this patrimony, submitted projects (which were shelved) to restore and save the building.

This healthcare colossus remains closed and totally abandoned, a victim of bureaucratic apathy, squatters, depredations and robberies in its facilities. Now it levitates, remaining upright, a static miracle, ready at any moment to collapse and finally fall down, to become a ghost whose death could have been prevented. One more valued heritage lost, like the emblematic Alaska building in the same neighborhood, the responsibility for which will fall historically on the same authorities who have been ruling us during these fifty-five years.

If urgent measures aren’t taken to restore these grande exponents of our architecture, we will also have to painfully witness the death of the Lopez Serrano apartment building, as well as the America Arias Maternity Hospital, both also examples of the most refined art deco style, now in precarious conditions.

By this means I am making an urgent appeal to the sensibilities of those in whose hands  is the power to address and solve this situation, affecting all Cubans in general and our architectural and historical heritage in particular.

3 comments to Reports from Cuba: The Ghost of a Preventable Death

  • Rayarena

    Eusebio Leal-Spengler is only interested in restoring buildings that can be turned into hotels, restaurants, stores and theaters. In other words, only if money is to be derived from the restoration. Tragically, unless they decide to turn it into a hotel, it will probably collapse.

  • asombra

    Eusebio Leal is a classic opportunistic lackey whose resume includes signing the public letter supporting the summary executions of three young black men in 2003 for attempting to leave Massah Castro's plantation. Alas, there are many such creatures, obviously too many.

  • […] Cuba: An essay on the decay of the Pedro Borras Hospital, an Art Deco landmark building which housed one of the best hospitals in the Caribbean, The Ghost of a Preventable Death (via Babalu). […]

You must be logged in to post a comment.