According to city officials, the renovation of Cuenca’s San Francisco Plaza will be complete by late July.
“Construction is on schedule and we are excited about restoring the square to its original multi-purpose public space,” says Felipe Abril, project manager for the city. “After almost a century of serving only as a market, the plaza will once again also serve as a venue for concerts, lectures, art shows and other public gatherings.”
Established shortly after Cuenca’s founding in 1557, San Francisco Plaza was second only to Parque Calderon in importance as a public square. Over the centuries, it has hosted concerts, exhibitions, political rallies and public executions.
According to Abril, work is nearing completion on the plaza surface, which is being paved in locally quarried marble. In June and July, lighting, a central fountain and planting areas will be installed and, in mid-July, sales kiosks for market vendors will be added along the sides of the plaza.
The vendors, who had been relocated to Calle Padre Aguirre during construction, will be moved again on Monday to the west and north side of the Plaza.
Following completion of the plaza, Abril says restoration work will continue on several buildings facing the plaza.
The renovation is a $4 million project with $1.3 million earmarked for upgrading the plaza surface.