Neighbors in the El Vado neighborhood off the west end of Calle Larga, are asking the city government to help restore five historic houses that were once part of a vibrant arts community.
Manuel Vallejo, owner of the La Condamine Museum, is leading a petition drive requesting city assistance. “This was once a center of cultural activity in Cuenca but many of the homes have fallen into disuse and are in urgent need of restoration,” he said. He has designated five houses he says need immediate work.
One of Valllejo’s plans is to put a public library in the Casa de la Lira, once the home of composer and musician José María Rodríguez. Rodriguez taught music classes and presented chamber music concerts in the house 100 years ago.
In 2010 and 2011, the city rebuilt Calle Condamine, converting it to a pedestrian mall, connecting it to a small plaza to the west which contains the shrine to the virgin.
The request for assistance has been sent to Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera and the Cantonal Council.