As antique dealers and lovers of the Art Deco era, we're always excited to hear when Art Deco buildings and objects are preserved or restored, and saddened when we hear they're in terrible condition. Such is the case with Cuba's Art Deco buildings. Cuba is a bit of a time capsule. The strong trade embargo has limited Cuba's ability to develop, and generated a strong culture of making things stretch as long as possible. Many of Cuba's cars date back to the 1940s and 1950s and are still functional. Cuba is a hidden jewel of Art Deco architecture as well, but much of it is in shocking conditions as you can see in this article from Art Deco News.
Saving the Art Deco Experience Through Necessity
Cuban preservationists have been doing their best to keep the buildings from rotting away. One reason they've lasted so long is that Cuba locked down the building of any new construction unless absolutely necessary due to the scarcity of materials. With the embargo beginning to lift and tourism starting again, Cuba will be faced with a choice. Do they take the time to restore their old architecture or tear it down for more modern construction? Obviously, we hope that they take the former tactic. It can be done, and another place full of Cuban immigrants has shown it can work. Miami Beach is home to a huge collection of Art Deco buildings that fell into neglect in the 1970s and 1980s. They were renovated and now the Art Deco district is a booming tourist attraction. Indeed, parts of Havana have long been recognized as worthy of restoration. If you are a fan of Art Deco, consider a trip to Cuba once travel restrictions are lifted. Spread awareness of the treasures that have been locked away all this time. And who knows, perhaps we'll make a trip ourselves and see if there are pieces of Art Deco furniture just waiting to enter our Miami showroom!