Shoring It Up
Acrylic on canvas – 24" x 34"

Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish and by the 17th century, it had become one of the Caribbean's main centers for shipbuilding. 

Although today it is a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants, its old center retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates, and internal courtyards.

Cuba, today, has virtually no free enterprise other than foreign investments in tourism and limited elements of a population that lives in abject poverty. This economic chasm in the development of Cuba actually spared the old historic buildings from the redevelopment wrecking ball. 

George H. Rothacker - Shoring It Up

Painting: Price on request
Print: $65 +tax and shipping

The use and reuse of grand private residences, with interior court yards, fountains, stained glass windows, marble floors, and staircases fell to the occupation of multi-family tenements. The once grand open court yards are now strung with clothes lines and have a dozen electric meters distributing power to each resident family. Some of the most outstanding examples of early Spanish colonial architecture, and the vernacular elements particular to Cuba are still in daily use after 300 years.

As demonstrated in the painting, "Shoring it Up," temporary solutions patch together the buildings and keep some standing while many collapse at an alarming rate. In 1962 UNESCO designated 444 buildings in Havana as World.