The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-25
Quito - Renovation of a 19th Century Home;
Old World Dream Come True;
And then the Reality of Size and Scope
This week we are pleased feature another Chronicle by LWE President and Founder, Mathieu Charles Guillory. Matt covers the renovation of his 19th century Quito home. The before and after photos are truly amazing.
by Mathieu Charles Guillory
Mi Amigo Ray,
Many or our readers, I suspect, have had experience in remodeling, renovation and construction in their home country - they will appreciate the effort it takes. Ray, I know that you have renovated an old Victorian home in Savannah, Georgia. My prior experience dealt with renovations of older homes from the 1940's and 1950's in Jackson, Mississippi for rental property investment. But I can assure you that nothing can compare with the "adventure" of completely renovating a 19th century Spanish home in Quito, Ecuador.
Those of you who have read my prior Chronicles will know that I consider myself and "Old World Man". Yes - I am firmly in the 21st century; but I have a deep appreciation for tradition. It may seem strange, but this was one of my primary reasons for choosing the expat life in Ecuador - here I can keep one foot in the Old World. One of the people I admire from the past is a former president of 19th century Ecuador - Don Gabriel Garcia Moreno. He was a traditional Catholic (like myself); his presidency was the basis for much of the Art, Architecture and Infrastructure of modern Ecuador.
My sense of idealism or romanticism influenced my decision to purchase an old home after four years of looking for just the right place. We finally found the perfect location in Colonial Quito - only three blocks from Plaza Grande, directly behind Monastery Santa Catalina - perhaps I would be living in a home somewhat like Garcia Moreno. (I might add my wife, Amaparo, feeling squeezed in our small Quito condo with our growing family may have had practical influence on our decision as well)
Of course, once the project was underway idealism and romanticism were quickly out the door. Reality set in - this was a huge undertaking. I was dealing with over 5,000 square feet of living area plus 1,000 square feet of patios and terazas. And this was actually a smaller home - most old Colonials in Quito are 10,000 square feet and more. The house consists of five bedrooms, four bathrooms, attic, teraza, patios, wine cellar and a chapel - and all of the 21st century ammenities. Our corporate office occupies the ground level. It took almost 2 two years to get it done - and we still have more we want to do. But it was a labor of love - and a dream finally realized.
Here are some photos of “before and after”. These photos “say a thousand words” and speak for themselves…..
What! Another Cost Overrun?!?!?!?!
Why Does the Maestro Seem so Satisfied?
He Can Put the Rock Down Now.
Matt - you have done it again. What an incredible Chronicle! The pictures really do tell the story. I did note your sense of humor in that last photo reminds me of someone.......Maybe you have been around me too much.
Would you like to move to Ecuador and renovate a giant mansion?
Find out how atLive Well Ecuador: