P.H. Paseo Las Bóvedas (1998-1999)
The plans for this project were drawn up in 1997 by the Spanish architect, Javier Erroz, who has designed several large projects, including buildings, in Panama City.
The original properties were purchased from Graciela and Delia Diez Pacheco, heirs to the Pacheco family fortune, who owned the properties in the 19th century. This building had a wonderful bridge which connected the properties from within, and a rooftop-terrace with one of the best sea views, which has been wonderfully incorporated into the newly-renovated building.
This project comprised the rehabilitation of three buildings connected by a central courtyard which were then joined to create a building comprising 13 apartments, the majority of which were one-bedroom lofts. Three commercial units were built on the ground floor.
P.H. University Club (1999-2000)
The site on which the building stands also belonged to the Pacheco family who sold it to the University Club society in which a reading club was established and other cultural and social events were hosted. Americans and Panamanian businessmen were the principal members of the Club.
The building was purchased in 1998 by the architect, Edward McGrath, who drew up the plans comprising six apartments and two commercial units with wonderful view towards Santo Domingo beach.
P.H. La Ronda (1999-2000)
The property is a modernised Colonial-style, two-storey stonework building dating back to the late 19th century. We christened it “P.H. La Ronda” as it is located next to a section of Paseo Esteban Huertas or Paseo Las Bóvedas which also used to be known as “La Ronda”, where the city’s unmarried young men and women used to promenade separately from one another, an important social ritual of its time.
The building plan comprises a lovely garden apartment on the ground floor with double-height ceilings and stone walls. A large, split-level apartment was built on the first floor with sea views over Paseo Esteban Huertas.
P.H. Callejón del Chicheme (2001-2002)
The house dates back to Colonial times when the street was called San Miguel Street, and referred to locally as “Callejón del Chicheme”. Later on, half-way through the 17th century, the street was renamed Carrera de Acevedo Gómez, and finally, Fourth Street. However, nearly half of the buildings on the block had disappeared by the middle of the 18th century, after a fire which engulfed San Felipe in 1737. Despite the fire, these houses remained standing and original parts of their structure had been preserved even though they were in ruins.
The building project comprises five apartments and one commercial unit, and retains several significant original elements in its design which date back to Colonial times, such as the courtyard, its high stone wall, and a splendid arch which is over 300 years old.
P.H. Casa Méndez (2002-2003)
The P.H. Casa Méndez building project has been developed into a wonderful two-storey building dating from the 19th century. The property has a wide-frontage and sits on a large plot of land with a light-filled inner courtyard.
The building project comprises six apartments and two commercial units. The architect moved the original courtyard to the rear of the building, which allowed him to incorporate apartments overlooking the street as well as the courtyard.
P.H. Casa Remón (2003-2004)
According to historical data, the current building may have been built in the late 19th century or early 20th century. Our research of the property’s deeds showed that by 1915, the property belonged to the heirs of Nicolás Remón and the street was called “Carrera de Nariño”. The property was subdivided in 1920 and thereafter inherited by Juana Arias, widow of Remón, and María O. Remón de Chiari, and it remained in their hands until the 1930’s.
The building design comprises three apartments and one commercial unit. The entire building was sold while under renovation to International Living, an American company which for over 30 years has advised foreigners on places suitable for retirement. They have set up a regional office in Casa Remón to promote Panama and other countries.
P.H. Calle las Monjas (2004-2005)
The property dates back to the 17th century and was completely destroyed by fire in 1756. The entire block was divided into two plots in the 19th century. One was a vacant lot and the other, currently houses P.H. Calle de las Monjas. Later on, Calle de San Antonio was renamed Calle de las Monjas, and today is called Avenida Central.
The property was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century, and its elaborate façade still exists today, together with many other details such as the small cherubs which adorn the balconies on the first floor and the small but lovely wrought iron balconies situated above every door span on the second floor.
The design comprises eight apartments and one commercial unit. The apartments were all designed to overlook the original inner courtyard, which divides the building into two separate sections. The architect was able to connect both sections using walkways which have been incorporated into and seamlessly connect the ancient walls flanking the inner courtyard.
P.H. La Legación (2005-2006)
Based on the property’s door spans and skylights as well as on information obtained by us, we estimate that it was built in the 1870s. In 1883, the architect Jules Dingler and Chief Engineer of Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceánique moved into the building. Once the United States took over the construction of the inter-oceanic canal, the building continued to be used as the residence of the chief engineer, and John Wallace, the first administrator of the American Canal company lived there at the beginning of the 20th century. Later on, the first headquarters of the American Embassy or “Legation” in Panama occupied the building.
The building project comprises eight apartments and one commercial unit which currently houses the offices of CISF.
P.H. Cuatro Casas (2006-2009)
This project included the restoration of four buildings located between Third and Fourth Streets which are all adjoining properties and have been named Casa Catalina, Casa Erhman, Casa Ardila and Casa De la Torre, and together, P.H. Cuatro Casas.
Casa Catalina was built in the Modern Colonial Style and dates back to the 19th century. One of its owners was Nicanor de Obarrio, one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Panama, following the country’s independence from Colombia. Casa Ehrman was built a neo-classical style in the early 20th century. The original owner was Natalio Erhman. Casa Ardila is located next door, with its French-style balconies which were built after the property was renovated in 1928 or thereabouts. The gingerbread columns were typical features of the period, found in French colonies throughout the Caribbean. The building design comprises 12 apartments and seven commercial units.
Casa Arango (2007-2008)
Located on iconic Tenth Street and according to our historical data, originally built in the mid-19th century, it was owned over many decades by several members of the Arango family. When CISF purchased the property, the façade and the building itself were almost entirely derelict, therefore the new façade had to be completely rebuilt based on information obtained about its original elevation.
The property is a single-family residence. Its interior has been given a contemporary design, making the most of the ceiling height to create a mezzanine, and skylights have been installed towards the rear of the building in addition to a mansard roof along the front of the building.
Casa Obispo (2007-2008)
The plot of land on which Casa Obispo was built was originally owned by Ramón Arias Feraud and Don Manuel Amador Guerrero, both leaders of our independence movement, the latter subsequently becoming the first President of the Republic of Panama. The property was built and sold in 1884 by Amador Guerrero to Don José Telésforo Paúl, the celebrated Colombian Jesuit priest appointed Bishop of the Diocese of the Isthmus of Panama by Pope Pius IX.
P.H. La Merced (2007-2009)
The property is next to the La Merced Church, and together with Casa Garay, was once part of the La Merced Convent. Inside, we can observe stone arcades which are presumed to have been part of the Convent as well as traces of the Colonial-era well, elements which can now be found in the inner courtyard.
P.H. Casa Garay (2010-2012)
The building dates back to the city’s earliest days during the Colonial era (the 17th century), and was part of the La Merced Convent. The Archive of the Indies shows that there were entrances to tunnels in the basement of the property connecting it to the Cathedral, although we were unable to find concrete evidence of this. In 1850, this property and others belonging to the Church were expropriated by the State. In 1880 or thereabouts, the building as it currently stands was built and its first registered owner was Mercedes Díaz de Garay, wife of the celebrated painter, Epifanio Garay y Caicedo. The property was subsequently inherited by his children, Don Narciso Garay Díaz, a celebrated literary, musical and diplomatic figure, and Doña Nicole Garay, the renowned educator.
The building project comprises nine apartments and was awarded the SPIA prize (Panamanian Association of Engineers and Architects) in 2012, winning under the category for “Best Restoration”.
P.H. Casa Neuman (2012-2014)
These buildings have been dated to the last two decades of the 19th century, and three of the four properties which comprise the building project belonged to the family of Don August Wilhelm Newman, who was married to Ana Catharina Van der Hans de Newman. In the early days of the 20th century, one of the properties comprising this project belonged to Don Ernesto De La Guardia, a highly respected and cultured businessman and father of one of our ex-Presidents, Don Ernesto De La Guardia, Jr. (1956-1960).
The building project comprises 13 apartments and five commercial units. The buildings were connected internally by a large, original courtyard in which we found a well dating back to Colonial times, which we were able to rescue.