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Casco Antiguo also known as Casco Viejo and the Old Quarter, is the most charming and vibrant neighborhood in Panama City, it features vibrant plazas, picturesque brick-paved streets surrounded by colorful buildings and the pacific sea. The area is packed with historical architecture, museums, boutique shopping and gastronomy.
The zone is now considered a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site and dates back to 1673, 2 years after the original Panama City was ramshackled and vanquished by PIRATES ( the British Henry Morgan to be precise!). At that time, the rich Spanish colonialists needed a new home and started a fresh and heavily walled community 8 kms away from their original town site (the present day Casco Antiguo!). Construction work was supervised by the new governor, Antonio Fernández de Córdoba, a soldier with vast experience in the construction of military fortifications, his choice for the location was a strategic one. Thanks to the shallow reefs which surround Casco's peninsula, the new town site was hard to attack for enemy ships. The central point of this new city was the Plaza Mayor, in front of which stands the Metropolitan Cathedral, clearly visible from our new favorite building’s roof top terrace!
CASCO ANTIGUO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The don't make buildings with this character anymore, do they? Every brick laid by hand, archways, rooftop patios and mysterious courtyards. This historical building in Casco Antiguo is one of few, and it needs your love and renovation experience to bring it back to glory.
Roof Top Patio
The Building is most definitely a blank canvas with no useable spaces at this time, but the bones are strong and clearly define each area- let's start with the ground floor. The 2 arched doorways on the left side of the building lead from the brick road into what seems like it should be a commercial space. The open area's split level floor leads past 1 room ( future cafe kitchen?) to a courtyard in the middle of the property, an ideal spot for a fountain and a secret garden. The arched entrance on the right side of the building leads down a hall to the courtyard as well, and beyond to a 2 room ground floor apartment, with its own private patio in the very back.
From the central courtyard the staircase winds up to the second, third and fourth stories, while the 5th floor roof top terrace is only accessible via separate spiral staircases located on the fourth floor. On the second floor is the most finished of the units. It has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a kitchen/living space and three French doors which open street side, ready for verandas if you ask me! There's another unit on the second floor, and the backside of the building, and it has an out door patio.
The third floor is split between the road side Penthouse and the another unit at the back of the building also with a outdoor patio. The pent house is the only unit with 2 floors, it has a cut out on the road side to the second floor which lets even more light pour through the ancient building. From the second floor of the penthouse, which is the 4th floor of the building, a spiral stair case to the roof top patio. The fourth floor has another unit at the back of the building with an outdoor patio and its own spiral staircase to the roof top as well.
From the roof top there are views all around! The modern skyline of Panama City is juxtaposed against the spires of the ancient cathedrals, and the Pacific Sea surrounding the Casco Viejo peninsula shimmers, only a block away.
A resent appraisal was conducted which valued this property at $2,231,676 USD.
HERITAGE RENOVATION LAWS
Panamanian laws protect the cultural heritage of this building, below is a link to the UNESCO site with information on both
1) Law 91 of December 22nd 1976
2) Law 9 of August 27th 1997
Beautiful structure for renovation in UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Casco Antiguo, Panama, Panama
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