STAMFORD, CT - As both an architect and a Cuban-American, Hermes Mallea’s fascination with Havana’s architecture stemmed from his own family history. That interest blossomed into a new book, Great Houses of Havana: A Century of Cuban Style, which Mallea will discuss at The Ferguson’s annual Marie Hurley Travel Program Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. at The Ferguson Library’s Third Floor Auditorium, Bedford & Broad Streets, Stamford.
In the book, Mallea, an historic preservation specialist with M(Group) in Manhattan, gives the reader an insider’s tour of Havana's architectural gems. The interiors and histories of these homes, which have never been formally published, allow the reader to experience the privileged life within the gated mansions of the city's grandest neighborhoods.
For over four hundred years, Havana was the center of Spanish trade in the western hemisphere. With the expansion of the sugar industry, independence from Spain, and North American investment, Havana became a city of great wealth, great style, and great houses - the Paris of the Caribbean - with impressive public works projects asserting the city's international standing.
The book is unique in incorporating the reminiscences of architects, historians, and homeowners - whose memories of mid-century Havana were on the verge of being lost. These anecdotes bring to life some larger-than-life personalities, including a sugar baron, a rags-to-riches newspaper magnate, a lady anthropologist, and an influential arts patroness.
A book sale and signing will take place after the discussion, which is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Program. All our programs are generously supported by the Friends of The Ferguson Library. For information call 203 351-8231.