The historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo or “Old Town”, received few tourists a decade ago. Its buildings were decaying and the area was rife with crime. Its transformation into a tourist center and the appreciation of its historical heritage has been thanks to the restoration builders of Casco Viejo in Panama.
Panama City grew up around this neighborhood, which remained at the center of Panamanian life. It was where the grand houses and the government buildings were, and, in the heady years following the completion of the Panama Canal, where the city’s first ‘skyscraper’ was built known as the American Trade Building – was the first to be made using reinforced concrete, using a technique perfected during the canal’s construction.
As the century progressed, however, many of the area’s wealthiest residents began moving out to the suburbs. The elegant plazas crumbled and fading stately buildings became inhabited by weeds, squatters, and stray dogs. Scaffolding propping up pockmarked walls became permanent, and trees grew tall in former ballrooms.
UNESCO World Heritage site
Casco Viejo was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, two years before the USA finally ceded power over the canal and its surrounding territories to the Panamanian government. Economically, the city had begun to flourish once more, and the road was open for its oldest neighborhood to revive its reputation as one of the most beautiful Spanish colonial cities in the world with the beginning of the restoration of Casco Viejo in Panama.
Today both tourists and Panamanians are returning to Casco Viejo — sometimes called Casco Antiguo — which has been coaxed back into life by government efforts to promote its restoration.
They have been joined by mixed-use developments with retail space on the ground floor and residential above.
Restoration builders of Casco Viejo in Panama are in charge of the process
There are specific architecture controls to ensure the area’s historic character is preserved, and the restoration process is time-consuming and expensive.
Property in the city’s historic district that commands the highest prices. Casco Viejo is small, and restored historical properties are highly sought after.
People visiting Casco Viejo notice a lot of construction going on. What they can´t see is the amazing work being done behind it: only to approve full plans might take you a year. Building a three-story building could take you another year and a half that.
However, for those who like being part of creating something, this might be one of the most rewarding activities.
Defined by its massive seawall, built to defend the city from further pirate attacks, Casco Viejo is small; just three avenues hem in the irregular blocks of buildings that have grown organically over four centuries, and the layout of the neighbourhood – a contained, complex grid of streets wending their way down to the sea – has remained largely unchanged since the 1680s.
It evokes a bohemian atmosphere, with bright flowers flowing over balconies, sun-bleached murals adorning crumbling stucco walls, music seeping from doorways, and street vendors hawking Panama hats under large, rainbow-colored umbrellas.
If you want the restoration builders of Casco Viejo in Panama in your project, contact us.