On August 2017 the District Secretariat of Culture, Recreation, and Sports dedicated one of its articles to our effort to preserve one of the houses in Teusaquillo representative of a time in Bogota´s Urban history.
We had to dig in our records of pictures, deeds, memories and other documents for them to be able to write the article.
It was almost two and half years of active repairing and restoring the house. For Rick, him been a contractor in FL and CO, USA, for more than 15 years the findings in the house were a whole of a challenge. Bricks, adobe, old iron piping for water, an old electrical network, a roof with clay tiles, a pretty weird water system, no doors in the house, noise from street were among the things we fund. Keeping in mind that the house was built in 1933.
Following is the text the Secretariat wrote about our house.
The Teusaquillo locality – Bogota, Colombia – is known for it’s historic architectural diversity. It is very important to show the job some families had carried out decade after decade in order to restore some of this houses and to preserve the history and the heritage of Teusaquillo. On this article we want to talk about a house located on AC 34 # 17 – 01. This building has been restored and preserved by Beatriz and Ricardo. This couple understood the great value in terms of architecture and heritage Teusaquillo brings to the city of Bogota.
This couple have spent the last four years working to keep this house in perfect condition. In the beginning they went through a long intervention approved by the Instituto Distrital de Patrimonio Cultural, the District Institute for Historic Heritage. According to Beatriz and Ricardo the house was built in the 1930s, when the now so called Teusaquillo neighborhood was named Las Nieves, and was part of the lots named Teusaquillo and Las Mercedes. The lot where the house was built was purchased by Mr. Roberto Bejarano on April 20th, 1933, as it reads on the deed of October 20th, 1933: “He raised at his expense a two-stories house of brick walls and a clay tile roofs”. On the 1930th began the story of the house according to the deeds written by hand. The construction of the house took approximately six months, a record time, although there are no historical blue prints or records and what reads the deed is the only testimony.
For many decades it kept its residential character until the 1980s when a flower grower company bought it. There is no record of any old photos showing the look of the interior and exterior of the house. After thirty years of being a house for offices it lost the warmth of a home: it had no doors, the wooden floor on the first floor was removed and changed by cement. They put carpet and by the entrance, a red tablet from the eighties. The fireplace was not lit for decades and the courtyard had lost its green essence.
The house was in an Ok condition however there was a lot to do. After extensive consultations, learning about heritage buildings, learning what could be changed and what cannot be touched, the restoration began. Permission was granted from the District Institute for Historic Heritage to proceed in accordance to the norm. The purpose was to preserve its beauty and to highlight its unique characteristics. The repair included walls, painting, changing water networks and upgrade electrical networks. Layers and layers of paint on the wood had to be removed inside and outside the house. Doors were made with reclaim wood to install where there was no doors. A detailed work was carried out on the roof, where each one of the clay tiles was taken down, washed by hand and put back into place. The material used back then to support the clay tiles had to be removed and changed∫, beams deteriorated by water and termites were replaced. The roof was finally put back into its original structure. This detailed word lasted six months.
This couple put their heart in the process of repairing and restoring their home. Their dream is to keep alive part of the history of Bogota, Colombia – a time when the city grew following new tendencies in the country and the world.