Vedado

“Ese ritmo - invariable lección desde las constelaciones pitagóricas, nace de proporciones y medidas. La Habana conserva todavía la medida del hombre. El hombre le recorre los contornos, le encuentra su centro, tiene sus zonas de insimitud y soledad...”
José Lezama Lima

 

El Vedado is located at the northern end of the town Plaza of the Revolution , including all its coastline and occupying about half of the total area of ​​the municipality.
This area consists of Vedado , Carmelo and Medina . The largely residential development started from the second half of the nineteenth century , reaching its peak in the first half of the twentieth century .
It is said that the name comes from an area considered as ”vedada” ( prohibited ) because a large plot within the territory was private property of the Count of Pozos Dulces , Francisco de Frias and Jacob where he had his fifth home. In this epoch there was a walled and off-wall city (which extended up to El Cerro area and what is today Vedado ) , so this way a zone defense against attacks by pirates or foreign forces was created.
The urban structure consists essentially of " blocks" or polygons hundred by one hundred meters (100m x 100m) and its road plot is oriented forty-five degrees northwest and northeast (45 degrees -45 degrees NO NE ) to decrease the effects of sunlight and take advantage of prevailing breezes .
In its constitution prevailed some elements of the Anglo-Saxon " garden city ", as paterres with lawn and trees , portals and private front gardens and side and back corridors , establishing a minimum of 33 % of exposed surface of each plot . Very innovative and successful for urban environmental improvement was the introduction area , as part of the original project , two magnificent promenades , parks, Avenue Paseo and G Street and Avenue of the Presidents , which cross the territory from north south.
It has lettering and numbering system that was new at the time, established by streets with letters and numbers instead of names. “Linea” street was the oldest in the area, by the establishment of the railway to the beaches in the nineteenth century and the tram , in the early twentieth century
The original cobblestone street pavement and improvement of water supply systems, sewerage and water drainage were performed in the period 1908-1913, and later the electric and manufactured network, that are still running.
There are buildings from different periods and architectural styles, from the oldest wooden neoclassical residences, eclectic buildings, examples of Art Deco, to tall buildings, and some paradigmatic examples of the Modern Movement. The general condition of the buildings ranges from average to good , with some exceptions spread throughout the territory .
The background built over the years has undergone transformations due to urban and social indiscipline , whose presence does not detract at all urbanization as a whole, and that from the technical perspective construction can and should be reversible.
As for cultural activities it is only compared to " Old Havana " , with numerous art galleries and museums.
With the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the houses that were abandoned by their inhabitants were transformed into schools and offices of government ministries. “Coppelia” ice-cream parlor was built, the most famous Cuban construction of its kind as well as several restaurants such as “El cochinito” (the little pig” ) or “El Mandarin” .
After the collapse of the USSR in the area surrounding the Malecón Habanero, has tall buildings and hotels have being built such as the Atlantic and many clubs , discos .
Anyway ... Vedado is a neighborhood with its own history and worthy of a visit.