How do you turn a living city into a shopping mall? Well, unregulated businesses will pay top money for real estate and in places where there are no city ordinances dictating how much of the real estate can be use for housing, schools, parks, business, et cetera, many houses become businesses. That’s is the sad of story of La Antigua Guatemala that every year looks more like a giant mall than an actual city with living quarters for its citizens. To talk about it is to fall off the graces of the progressive liberal business minds. Oh well, c’este la vie.
So, what do you with functioning colonial architectural elements such as this colonial pila and lavaderos [water tank and washbasins]? Well, if we’re fortunate, they will repurpose it into a garden area or decoration piece as shown back in 2009 with the pila inside McDonald’s; or perhaps turn them into fountains as shown in 2010 with the fuente in Finca Filadelfia. By the way, if you want check out this pila and lavaderos for yourself on your next visit, it can be found inside the new San Martín Panadería and Restaurant.
A few weeks ago I attended a talk about Arquitectura y Urbanismo, architecture and urbanism, lead by the mayor elect Susana Asensio. Boy oh boy, what a wake up call that was. I have talked about the houses turning into business phenomena before, but I didn’t know exactly all the details of what this transformations entails. Now I do, and I will be sharing more information about that wonderful conference soon. Stay tuned.
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