Recap :: Long Studio to Havana, Day 4

Photo by: John Pilling 

 By John Pilling, Havana Long Studio Instructor 

Sunday, February 12, 2012
Yule and an architect from the Historian’s office, Norberto, met us in the morning for a trip to see architecture in Vedado, Miramar, Cubanacán, Centro Habana, and La Habana Vieja. The first part of the tour was from the bus only, and we saw some significant examples of Deco around the area of the Obelisco de Marianao. We viewed some of Segre’s works, including the Convention Center, before stopping outside the Schools of Art, which was closed on the Sunday.

Photo by: Ruthie Kuhlman

We sketched the Plastic Arts School from the outside, and then drove around to the Modern Dance School, which has always had an easy-going guard. Norberto and Yule asked him if we could enter the forecourt of the building, and he agreed. After visiting the Modern Dance School, we stopped at the ruins of the Ballet School, where there is a gap in the fence. We spent quite a bit of time there sketching and taking photographs. From the schools of art, we went to the Club Nautico, by Max Borges. We were able to photograph and sketch the building from the outside. Norbeto then took us through Miramar, showing us Borges’s house as well as the Gastón house (now Paladar Vistamar). In El Vedado, Norberto showed us several deco masterpieces. Norberto completed our tour by driving us around the area originally occupied by the city walls. 

Photo by: John Pilling 

We had lunch at the Jardin del Oriente, and then we took the Ferry (‘Lanchetta’) from La Habana Vieja to Casa Blanca. We walked up the hill to the Cristo de La Habana and then on to the Cabaña fortress. The annual book fair was in full swing there, so we went on to the fortress at El Morro. We said good bye to Yule there, and stayed on through sunset. We had dinner at the Restaurant Divina Pastora, which has excellent views of the harbor entrance channel and La Habana Vieja. The staff at the Divina Pastora helped us get cabs to take us back to the Hotel Tulipan at the end of the evening.