Havana 500: School of Architecture hosts event to mark anniversary

A map of Havana dated 1907. Image: Cuban Heritage Collection/University of Miami

By Barbara Gutierrez

A map of Havana dated 1907. Image: Cuban Heritage Collection/University of Miami

Havana 500: School of Architecture hosts event to mark anniversary

By Barbara Gutierrez
The history of the Caribbean city will be examined during a two-day symposium this week featuring architecture and design experts.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the city of Havana, Cuba, the School of Architecture, in partnership with the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) and the Center for Urban and Community Design (CUCD), will hold a two-day symposium on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and Thursday, Nov. 14, at the School of Architecture’s Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center. 

“Today, Havana seems disheveled and deteriorated, but from an urban perspective it remains integral, thus making it an exceptional place to examine, not only for its architecture but the exceptional cross-section of varied and intact planning objectives, including those that were once prevalent throughout the Caribbean and the hemisphere,” said School of Architecture research associate professor Sonia Chao. 

Chao, who is also director of the CUCD, will chair the event which will bring together some of the best minds in architecture and urbanism to examine Havana from various perspectives and scales, including the urban codes and urban form that created this magnificent city, as well as contemporary historic preservation and research initiatives.

The symposium begins with opening remarks by CHC leadership, and the viewing of the film “Viva El Vedado,” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. It is followed by a panel discussion with film producers Mary Ebrahimi and Secundino Fernández, and Carie Penabad, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies for the School of Architecture. 

On Thursday, Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury will provide opening remarks followed by a roster of local and visiting speakers who will discuss the history of Havana from the colonial period to the present, as well as the evolution of its urban character.

Lourdes Dieck-Assad, the University’s vice president for hemispheric and global affairs, will deliver closing remarks prior to the celebratory reception that will follow. 

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/havana-500-symposium-tickets-78645150763