Chicago Architecture Foundation Members Tour


Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation*


Itinerary for Havana, Cuba
December 26-31, 2003

Updated December 17, 2003


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Friday, Dec 26
If you get in early, meet tour leader, John Gilderbloom, at the Miami International Airport Hotel in the restaurant on the 8th floor for lunch and conversation. He’ll be there around 1:00pm. He will be wearing a white shirt with his nametag. (For those of you who haven’t met him, he’s middle-aged, 6’5” and has brown hair). His cell phone number is 502-608-7567 if needed at the Miami airport.

2:30 pm Security check-in at airport
Check in at American eagle counter
There will be a check-in point especially for your charter
Charter Company: ABC charters

(Individuals are responsible for getting to the airport- Miami International)
Each participant is limited to one piece of checked luggage (44 pounds maximum) and one carry-on. Each piece of checked and carry-on luggage will be hand checked. This process takes several hours. Thank you in advance for your patience.


*CubaNow is the trip organizer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, whose license is being utilized for this trip. The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s trip to Cuba is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. All CAF members taking this trip will receive a one-year paid membership to the National Trust and a subscription to Preservation magazine. It is important when you talk to the US Customs agent to mention that you are a member of the National Trust, the sponsoring organization. This trip is lead by Professor John I. Gilderbloom, who specializes in preservation, planning and Cuba. Prof. Gilderbloom, of CubaNow, is also a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lynn Osmond, President of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and a member of the National Trust, is the co-leader for the trip. Her cell phone number is 312-320-3432.

By 4:00 Please try to be in the gate area so Prof. Gilderbloom can brief you on
Cuban travel

5:30pm Depart Miami (American Eagle # OW9518, Concourse D, Gate 10F)
6:50pm Arrive Havana

You will go through customs as individuals. After clearing customs we will proceed by private motor coach to the Hotel Inglaterra. If you wish to rent a cell phone, this service is available at the hotel.

Hotel Inglaterra is the oldest hotel in Cuba. It recently celebrated its 127th anniversary. Its interior décor recreates the atmosphere of the colonial period, featuring stained-glass windows, colorful mosaics, Spanish heraldic symbols, window grills, and intricately worked ceiling.

Paseo del Prado No. 416 e/ San Rafael y San Miguel, Havana Vieja, Cuba, +8608593 phone +8608254 fax

Night Suggested: Buffet at the Hotel Parque Central or the Hotel Nacional.
(There is a good 24-hour restaurant at the Nacional.)

Saturday, Dec 27
7-8:30am Breakfast served at our hotel
9:00am Bus departs
Day Bus tour of greater Havana region. You’ll see over 400 years of architecture. The orientation tour will provide an overview of the city to include: the Nacional Capitolo, Plaza de Revolucion Square, Paseo, Malecon, Vedado, Nacional Hotel, Miramar, Playa and El Morro Castle. We also will visit a detailed “model” of Havana that documents every building on every street in Havana. This is the size of half a football field. It’s a wonderful tool for preservationist and planners alike.

2:00-5:30 pm Old Havana - Visit 400 years of architecture! Visit Cuba's largest and most renowned art fair at the historic Plaza de Armas, filled with Cubans leading folk artists. It is considered some of the best folk art in the world and represents an emerging entrepreneurial class. Plaza de Armas, the oldest square in Old Havana, which is surrounded by architecture, spanning the 16th to 20th centuries. The plaza is filled with work from Cuba’s leading folk artists.

5:30-7:30 pm Free Time

7:00 pm Bus leaves
7:30-9:30 pm Visit El Morro Castle that guards the ships in Havana Bay. See an exhibit of stone castles from around the world. Also, see the cannon ceremony.

Sunday, Dec 28
7-8:30am Breakfast served at our hotel
9:00am Bus departs

Morning We will visit Alamar, a soviet design socialist city and the development Castro declared would become one of the world's greatest cities. There we will see massive prefabricated Soviet style apartments that house around 80,000 occupants. At Alamar, participants will take part in one-on-one contact with Cuban residents of these developments, discussing their experiences living there and their views on housing and life in Cuba. The residents, in small groups called micro-brigades, mostly built these housing units. This organization is similar to America's Habitat for Humanity Program. The garden of Soviet Junk will also be visited. We will also visit the nearby Pan American Village, an example of attractive pre-fabricated housing structured around a Spanish Prado, or walking area. We will also visit Cojimar, Hemingway's fishing Village along with Hemingway's house.

12-2:00 pm Lunch will be on your own at Santa Maria beach with local residents.

2:00-5:00 pm Tour Central Havana, including the Capitolio Nacional, Gran Teatro de La Habana, Central Port, Obispo Street and Parque Martires. Gran Teatro de La Habana is the oldest operating theater in the Western Hemisphere. The National Ballet of Cuba is housed here.

Dinner Optional- Dinner at Paladares
(On your own). The cost of the dinner is the responsibility of individuals. U.S. cash is the only acceptable method of payment.


Paladares are small family-owned restaurants that typically occupy the front room of a private home. Regulations limit the number of diners to 12 and allow only the family members to be employees. We have chosen the three best in Cuba for you to try. (Don’t worry –you will have the opportunity to try several Paladares during your stay.)

Free evening.


Monday, Dec 29
7-8:30am Breakfast served at our hotel
9:00am Bus departs
Morning We will visit the National Arts School, considered by some to be a great world masterwork of the twentieth century. It has won worldwide acclaim. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the National Arts School, is considered a top architectural marvel. It was an attempt to create a unique Cuban architectural identity by breaking from Spanish Colonial and Modern influences. It worked but went against the oppressive Soviet/Socialist ideology of creating a socialist architecture that is free from the frills and decadence of capitalism. It was attacked and the Arts School was never finished. New laws were soon passed mandating that only concrete pre-fab structures could be built in Cuba. The National Arts School represents a watershed moment that turned over the design of new building, schools, hospitals, offices and homes to Soviet architects. At the National Arts School, we will participate in one-on-one contact with students there. We will participate in discussions concerning art and architecture.

12-2:00 pm Lunch at La Ferminia (paid for in advance)

2:00-5:00 pm Visit the house of Jose Rodriguez Fuster. His Mosaic House in Miramar is near the restaurant where we had lunch. Fuster was born in Villa Clara in 1946. He paints, engraves and sketches, and is also one of Cuba’s most original ceramists. He began his artistic career in 1961 at the age of 14, when he went to the Sierra Maestra to teach in the Literacy Campaign. He has participated in contests, exhibits, and art symposia in Cuba and around the world. We will visit the artist and browse his work at his studio in Jaimanitas, just outside Havana.

We will also visit Callejon de Hammel. This neighborhood is the subject of numerous documentaries that focus on one of Cuba's most famous painters - Salvador. Salvador is a unique, wonderful and inspiring example of revitalizing an inner city neighborhood through street art and having residents participate in creating bold and innovative art. The street art has provided a springboard for many other programs of resident self-improvement. Salvador has done murals throughout South America, North America, and Europe. At Callejon de Hammel, participants will take part in a workshop on creating murals to increase the vitality of an inner city neighborhood with Salvador and neighborhood residents. There will be one-on-one contact between the residents and trip participants, discussing how the murals have affected them and their experiences living in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, Dec 30
7-8:30am Breakfast served at our hotel
9:00am Bus departs
Morning Visit Colon Cemetery, Cuba’s most important cemetery. You will feel like you are walking in a little city; it is laid out on a rectangular grid with numbered streets and avenues. You will see many marvelous marble headstones. Also, you will visit Vedado and Central Havana. Vedado means “forest reserve”. During the colonial era, cutting down trees was forbidden here. Unfortunately, after 1898, Havana’s US community established itself in this area and within a few decades Vedado was thick with high-rise hotels, office buildings, restaurants, nightclubs and other businesses.

Lunch-on your own

2:00-5:00 pm Visit convent of Santa Clara where they do preservation work. You can spend the afternoon at the Cuban Museum of Modern Art and Museum of the Revolution and other choices you will be given for this free afternoon.

Evening Good-bye Dinner at El Aljibe for a capstone and summary of program. This restaurant was here before the revolution of 1959 and has been run by three generations of the same family. A portion of the restaurant profits go to cancer research.

Wednesday, Dec 31
6:45-7:15 am Breakfast served at our hotel
7:20am Bus departs
10:20am Depart Havana
11:50am Arrive Miami

There is a $25 (USD) departure tax to leave the county. Also, there will be random checks performed at Customs. You can bring an unlimited amount of books, music and art (“research and educational material”) back to the U.S. without declaring it on your U.S. Customs form.

You must declare cigars, liquor, and coffee (“tourist items”) on your U.S. Customs from. There is a $100 total limit on the amount of coffee, cigars and rum you may bring back:

Coffee: 4 bags/person
Cigars: 1 box/person
Rum: 2 bottles

(Please allow 2-3 hours to clear customs prior to checking in for flights from Miami to home cities.)


Hotel information
Hotel Inglaterra
Paseo del Prado No. 416 e/ San Rafael y San Miguel, Havana Vieja, Cuba
011+53+7+8608593 phone (dialing from the US)
011+53+7+8608254 fax (dialing for the US)

The Hotel Inglaterra, which has been named a National Monument, is a neoclassical hotel that was erected in 1875 and belongs to the Gran Caribe hotel group. For visitors of the 19th century this hotel was a favorite, including Winston Churchill often laid his head here. The extravagantly decorated lobby that is loaded with atmosphere, has cool havens of stained glass, patterned tiles and arabesque archways.


GENERAL INFORMATION

ATTIRE
The daytime dress for the CAF Cuba Study Tour is casual. Flat comfortable shoes are recommended. Tennis shoes or sandals are appropriate for the walking tours. December temperatures typically average around 75? with a chance of brief periods of rain. However, bring a light jacket or sweater for cool evenings or very cool air-conditioned restaurants.

In general, clothing should be on the informal side. In the evening, gentlemen usually wear sport coats (no ties) and women wear dresses.

CREDIT CARDS, CASH, AND TRAVELERS CHECKS
We recommend you bring CASH. Earmark a minimum of $100US/day spending money (plus additional cash for phone calls). Maximum cash allowed is $1,000/$160US per day. If you plan to purchase high quality artwork you should bring additional cash. Safe deposit boxes are available at the hotel. Because it is difficult for local businesses to exchange bills of a large denomination, smaller bills are recommended ($1-$20). The hotel will be able to exchange $50 and $100 bills for smaller denominations. Cubans want American dollars; so do not exchange your dollars for Cuban pesos unless you want to take the money home as a souvenir. It is also a good idea to bring a roll of quarters to tip restroom attendants.

While in Cuba it is impossible for Americans to use any credit card issued by a U.S. bank. You will also not be able to use your ATM card or cash a personal check. You may see travelers from other countries using credit cards, which is allowed. All major travelers checks may be cashed at the hotel. Always take travelers checks in U.S. funds. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged for a 3% commission on weekdays and 4% on weekends.

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS
Only ONE suitcase per passenger is allowed. It must not exceed 44 pounds. ONE small piece of hand luggage is allowed in the cabin. The airline will have a charge of $2 for every pound over.

HOTEL VOLTAGE
A grounded adapter plug for Continental Europe should be sufficient. Please bring the appropriate adapter for your needs.

TIME ZONE
East Coast Standard Time. Havana and New York City are in the same Time Zone.

GENERAL INFORMATION

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU!
We suggest you also make a photocopy of the front page of your passport and carry it on your person while in Cuba. In Miami you will be given your Visa for entry into Cuba, a copy of our license, and a pocketsize version of the complete itinerary.

Upon arrival in Cuba, you should keep your passport and airline ticket in the hotel safe, along with all other valuables. You will only need to carry a copy of your passport on your person (except when visiting the U.S. Interests Section, where you will be required to show your actual passport).

CUSTOMS
You will go through Customs as individuals and there will be random checks performed at Customs. Do not bring “questionable” readings such as Playboy, because it will be confiscated. You can bring an unlimited amount of books, music, and art (“research and educational material”) back to the U.S. without declaring it on your U.S. Customs form. You must declare cigars, liquor, and coffee (“tourist items”) on your U.S. Customs form. There is a $100 total limit on the amount of coffee, cigars, and rum you may bring back:

Coffee: 4 bags/person Rum: 2 bottles
Cigars: 1 box/person Trinkets: 2 or 3

PACKING
Please note that it may be difficult or impossible to find certain items in Cuba that you may have forgotten to pack. We strongly recommend that you take special care to include an ample supply of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you may require while on the trip, as well as common health and beauty aides such as antacids, laxatives, tampons, sunscreen, tissues, and Band Aids. We encourage folks to leave behind clothes, books, and toiletries with the folks in Old Havana.

HEALTH
No inoculations are required before visiting Cuba, as the country presents no major health risks for travelers. Tap water is generally safe to drink, but bottled water, which is easily accessible, is recommended. Doctors are on duty 24 hours a day in all major hotels. One Havana hospital is entirely reserved for foreigners and several international clinics are located in the most popular tourist areas.

BATHROOMS
A bathroom will be located on the bus. At public restrooms, the tip for the restroom caretaker is generally 25 cents to one dollar. Some restrooms require that you purchase toilet paper and the availability of toilet paper can be limited. Use the restrooms recommended by our guides. They are known to be clean and modern.

FOOD
Only consume moderate amounts of candy, ice cream, and sweets, because these products are made with larger quantities of pure cane sugar than Americans are accustomed to, which can cause stomach problems. The food is generally salty, not spicy. As in Mexico, you should only consume sealed, boiled, or peeled foods to avoid stomach problems. We recommend bringing a small bottle of Tabasco sauce. You may bring granola bars and snacks but fruits, seeds, and vegetables are not permissible.

GENERAL INFORMATION

PHONES, CELL PHONES, & LAPTOPS
The least most cost effective way to make an international or national telephone call is by using public phones (blue) that accept calling cards. Phone cards can be purchased at the hotel. To call the U.S., you must dial 119+1+(area code)+phone number. The cost is $2 per minute. For calls inside Cuba, you must dial 0+(area code)+phone number. Calls inside Havana cost $0.05 per minute. Please leave your laptop at home. Email stations are available at hotels in Havana. It is difficult to receive incoming calls from the United States.

Your American cell phone will not work in Cuba, though at times American travelers have gotten lucky and been able to receive a signal. International cell phones should work in Cuba but the service can be unreliable and you should confirm this coverage with your provider.

If you require a cell phone, you can rent one at the hotel(s). However, please be advised that the cost is high ($200 cash deposit + $10 per day + $2.70 for international call + $0.70 per minute for outgoing or incoming calls) and the service can be unreliable. Note that all cell phone charges will be due in CASH when you return the phone to the hotel desk.


GRATUITIES
Cuban tourism workers rely on tips. Those who deserve a US$1 tip include museum staff that gives you a complete tour, hotel bellmen, doormen and housekeepers, attentive wait staff or anyone in the service industry that goes beyond the call of duty. We encourage a $2 a day tip for our driver and our Cuban guide from each traveler. This tip will be given when we arrive safely at the airport. This should come to around $350 for our guide and $150 for our driver. Do not offer money to officials to obtain preferential treatment; governmental corruption is rare in Cuba and attempted bribery will only make things worse.

Paladars (private, family-run restaurants) may add 10-20% onto your bill as a 'tax' or 'service charge.' If you suspect a scam, ask to keep the bill and see what happens. All private businesses are heavily taxed to discourage competition with state-run entities, and the added costs are, of course, passed on to you. Avoid jineteros (touts) who offer to lead you to a restaurant for a tip.

SAFETY
Cuba is very safe and you can walk at night in tourist areas without worry. Police officers are posted at every street corner to ensure tourist security and they will never give you any trouble. However, pickpockets do exist, so please carry only small amounts of cash. If you wish to take an evening walk – which is safe to do -- you are encouraged to carry a pocket flashlight, as Cuban streets are not well lit at night.

PANHANDLERS
Refrain from handing out money or anything else to children or beggars on the street. Cubans are not allowed to beg from tourists, and plainclothes police are on duty in most places where tourists and Cubans mix. It may be gratifying to hand out trinkets to people you view as needy, but these people could be questioned as soon as you disappear from sight, and you may be responsible for sending someone to prison. Please, do not hand out money or other items while we are traveling in a large group. This will attract a large crowd who may hassle he group.



 

What does this trip cost?

·        Double accommodations from Miami are $3,995 double occupancy

·        Single supplement costs an additional $395

·        A deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration

·         All payments are due by November 7, 2003—late fee of $300 is charged after November 7, 2003

·         Students get $100 off. If you bring five or more persons from your family, company or school each person gets $250 off.

 


TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS

There is some paperwork required when traveling from the United States to Cuba. Please submit your completed registration form well in advance. It covers all the information needed by both the Cuban and American governments to insure legal travel to Cuba. Please indicate your preferred gateway city and flight preference in your registration. This allows us to arrange for your international flight.

We suggest that your flights to and from Havana are booked and confirmed before you book domestic connecting flights to your gateway city. When arranging your connecting flights, always leave at least two hours for customs and check-in. If you miss your flight to Havana, you might have to wait a day or so for another flight, or buy a one-way ticket from another carrier.

Remember! When departing Cuba, you will be required to pay a $20 USD departure tax. Please budget accordingly.



Who can go?

Cuba Research and Education Programs has a U.S. Department of the Treasury license to take adults professionals interested in urban design, preservation, planning, housing and environment to Cuba for research and education.  Those with an established interest in the educational matter and who agree to participate fully in the people-to-people program may attend.   In the past, architects, planners, engineers, lawyers, students have gotten continuing education credit or college course credit.   We estimate that the total amount of lectures, seminars, workshops, and tours adds up to over 40 hours.  In the past, our license required folks to disseminate information using professional outlets—our people-to-people license no longer requires this—just participation in the program. 




Registration

Please send the following to Cuban Research and Education Programs to register for the program:

(1) A completed registration form, which can be obtained online.

(3) A $500 deposit payable by check or money order to Cubanow.org, or by credit card.


Send complete registration packet by fax or mail with $500 deposit to:


Cuba Research and Education Programs
CUBANOW.ORG
1405 Morton Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40204
Phone 502-582-0024
FAX 502-582-0023


 

Need More Information?

Contact:
Laura Chafin
Cuba Research and Education Programs
Sustainable Urban Networks
1405 Morton Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40204
Phone 502-582-0024
FAX 502-582-0023

cubanow@mindspring.com

We strongly advise that interested individuals visit our web site at www.cubanow.org regularly. It continually provides program updates.




Tour Leaders and Sponsor

John I. Gilderbloom, Ph.D., is the leader of this program.  He is Director of the Cuban Research and Education Programs, is a professor in the University of Louisville's Department of Urban and Public Affairs graduate program and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (www.louisville.edu/org/sun). He teaches courses on Cuba, Historic Preservation, Housing, Urban Planning, and Revitalizing Inner Cities. Dr. Gilderbloom has won two "teacher of the year" awards and the Professional Speakers Bureau now represents his popular lectures on Cuba. He has been profiled in the New York Times, Atlanta Constitution Journal, and Planning Magazine. Dr. Gilderbloom has written articles on a variety of public policy issues for 21 academic journals and 18 chapters in books; he has also written three books. He has written articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Most recently, Dr. Gilderbloom served as a technical advisor for National Geographic's recent special issue on Old Havana and consulted with a U.S. Senate committee on Cuba travel. He is currently writing a book on Cuba and has published articles on Cuba recently in Planning Magazine and the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture. Dr. Gilderbloom has been to Cuba 20 times in the past five years and is internationally recognized. He is a member of Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba Board of Directors, where he sometimes volunteers as a spokesman. Dr. Gilderbloom recently earned an honorary diploma, along with several other honors, from Cuba's Union of National Architects and Engineers.

Jon Daniel Davey, A.I.A. Associate. Professor Davey will co-lead some of these programs. Five times awarded the Teacher of the Year Award and several other awards at his home institution of Southern Illinois University, Professor Davey chairs the Department of Interior Design at SIU Carbondale. Professor Davey provides riveting lectures about Cuban architecture, preservation, planning and design. He has lectured and written often about Cuban architecture and design including The Society of Architectural Historians. He has extensive experience leading overseas study trips centered on architecture, design and planning.having developed and conducted 27 travel/study programs to Europe, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Cuba.

Laura Chafin M.P.A. is the assistant director of Cuba Research and Education Programs. Although a majority of her work is behind the scenes, she has traveled to Cuba leading groups on architectural walking tours. Laura studied for her Masters Degree at the University of Louisville, where her concentration was in urban planning and design. Her work focuses on historic preservation and economic development. A strong asset to the organization is Lauras experience as a travel agent. Also, her B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Kentucky gives her a greater understanding of the Cuban culture and influences her effect over the group while traveling.

Stephen A. Roosa is the President of Energy Management Alternatives, a design oriented, performance contracting firm in Louisville, KY. Past experience includes over 20 years experience in building design, energy engineering, project management and real estate development. Mr. Roosa holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky and a MBA from Webster University. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Louisville in Planning and Urban Development. He is the Secretary of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), an international organization with members in 70 countries. He is widely published on the topics of energy conservation, alternative energy, performance contracting and sustainable development. He has chaired conference sessions in the U.S., India and Hungary. He was co-chair of the 2003 European conference on Climate Change, Energy Awareness and Energy Efficiency. Steve has traveled to 12 Caribbean countries during more than 20 trips to the region. Current projects include a regional nature center in Kansas, an energy education and demonstration center in Cairo, Egypt, and a trade mission in 2004 to South America.

Audun Engh, J.D., has had full range of experience with urban issues in not only the public and private sectors, but also the non-profit sector. After receiving his law degree from the University of Oslo Law School in 1979, he spent 6 years in the public sector completing urban regeneration projects for the municipality of Oslo. Following, he practiced real estate law for 17 years. Currently, in his 7th year as the project manager of a non-profit, the Foundation for Urban Renewal, Oslo, Engh directs programs promoting traditional urbanism and architecture all across Europe. In addition, Engh has been the editor of a law journal and cultural magazines, and has written professional articles for newspapers and journals in Norway. He has been a cultural program reporter for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and operates the Center for Traditional Arts in downtown Oslo. Engh is a member of the Management Committee of INTBAU, International network for traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism. audun.engh@broadoark.no

 

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE LEADING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Professors Gilderbloom and Davey along with their respective organizations have helped organized and lead workshops, seminars and cultural exchanges in numerous countries around the world.   Dr. Gilderbloom has led twenty educational exchange programs in Cuba; Professor Davey has done four programs in Cuba.  Dr. Gilderbloom has led workshops on sustainable development, planning, housing and design in France, Holland, Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.  Professor Davey has an equally impressive record taking groups of Americans to European, African and Middle Eastern  countries for educational exchange programs.  Every summer Professor Davey takes students, faculty and professionals on an intense four-week architectural, planning and preservation educational exchange program, which has earned him numerous honors.  Plans call for exchange programs in Vancouver, Canada and Europe. 

Through our license, Cuban Research and Education Programs provides the needed legal permission for qualified participants to travel and a legitimate travel agency. Our travel agency, Pro-Travel is one of a handful of companies that is authorized by the U.S. Treasury to make business transactions with Cuba. Pro-Travel handles all travel and financial arrangements for our programs.

 

SUGGESTED READING LIST

 

Havana and the Best of Cuba by Time Out Guide 2001 Penguin Books: NY, NY—Hey, they love our program and gave us a good plug—so I am returning the favor.  It is also a very good book with lots of educational information and load of recommendations of where to eat and play at night.   Available via Amazon.com 

Eduardo Luis Rodríguez. The Havana Guide: Modern Architecture 1925-1965. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. The Havana Guide is the first publication of its kind in English to recognize the wealth of modern architecture that exists throughout Havana. Written with an academic perspective, Rodríguez provides a brief introduction addressing the early years of the modern movement that were sparked by architectural journals of the time, and continues up through the last monumental project completed after the 1959 Revolution – The National Art Schools. Architects from Cuba and abroad, known and unknown, are discussed, along with the ways in which they strove for a Cuban architectural identity. The overall guide is organized into 15 neighborhoods, and features 200 buildings that range from private residences to hotels, institutions, and churches. For each entry, he provides a brief but complete analysis of the architect’s inspiration and design intent. Many entries also include floor plans, elevation drawings, and historic photographs. As an architect and Editor-in-Chief of the architecture journal Arquitectura Cuba, Rodríguez has compiled an excellent resource for anyone interested in modern architecture.

Havana: Two faces of the Antillean Metropolis by Robert Segre, Mario Coyula and Joseph Scarpaci. New York, New York: John Wiley and Sons. It is a neat collaboration between American, Brazilian and Cuban academics on planning a socialist city, and well-illustrated with maps, pictures and other data. Especially good for planners, architects, urban historians and geographers. This book is also recommended by Marazul tours.

Cuba: A Short History, edited by Leslie Bethell. New York, New York: Cambridge Press. This is a good book written for an academic audience. Four different authors write about Cuba from when its European discovery up to 1994. Unlike most history and political books on Cuba, this book seems even-handed and fair.
 

Revolution of Forms: Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools. This book published by Princeton came out a few months ago and has been given deserved praise. It  eloquently describes, in a case study of the art schools, of what happened to architecture under communism. For many, the Cuban Art Schools rank as among the best architecture in the world and at the very least the best modern architecture in Cuba.

Community Versus Commodity by Stell Capek and John Gilderbloom.  New York: SUNY Press.  OK!  I am plugging my own book about rebuilding American cities.  But since I have the space here why waste it?  Besides you might find the book of interest.  My wife says, “that once you put this book down, you will never want to pick it up again.”  It is currently in its fifth printing—meaning five copies have been sold already!