Seminary work progresses

Apr 29, 2014

Renovation work on seminary is welcomed

Despite efforts to keep it under wraps, the renovation of San Luis Seminary, next to the cathedral, is probably Cuenca’s worst kept secret.  The section of the seminary currently being renovated is best known as home to the Raymipampa and Tutto Freddo restaurants.chl renovation

Workers are finishing repairs and painting of the exterior of the building, much of it under large tarps to keep plaster and paint from affecting surrounding sidewalks. At the same time, work continues on the interior of the building, much of which as been in poor repair and unused for years.

Father Jorge Moreno, director of the restoration project for the Cuenca Catholic Archdiocese, says the work will increase usable space in the seminary by 70%. Moreno says that more than $1 million has been allocated for the project.

Everyone, including Moreno, says the Calle Malo front of the seminary has long been in need of repair and painting. Juan Lara, a waiter at Tutto Freddo, says he’s glad to see the workers. “The building has looked awful for years,” Lara said. “It looked like a ghost house so I’m they are finally doing the repairs and the painting.”

Included in the work is the restoration of Calle Santa Ana, the alley between Raymipampa and the cathedral. The church and city have talked for years of converting the alley into commercial space, including a café, cafts shops and other small businesses. The alley is currently blocked from the Benigno Malo sidewalk.

The seminary was damaged by fire in 2012. Most of the building on Calle Simon Bolivar has been restored.

Photo caption: The wraps are coming off restoration work on the San Luis Seminary at the corner of Malo and Bolivar.