To experience the people and their culture is to discover their art and architecture. Because of my background as an architect, I looked forward to seeing the wealth of history in Havana’s buildings and streets. Havana, a city of two million people, was founded only a few decades after the first Columbus voyage. The city has much to offer, although the decades of sanctions on Cuba account for a gap in time in which the island’s climate has had a brutal effect on buildings that received little to no maintenance. The colonial phase was well represented with a wealth of beautiful buildings in varying states of preservation. There were signs of active renovation of many colonial structures, including old hotels and apartment buildings whose residents are housed by the government until renovations are complete. A glaring mix of post-revolution 1960’s concrete and glass, brought about by the Soviet Union’s partnership with Cuba, as well as European built buildings, jars the senses. A high point for me was visiting the home of Ernest Hemingway and seeing his boat Pilar.