Casa de Hortensia Mata

#22 CASA DE HORTENSIA MATA Simon Bolivar 8-28

Built in 1910. This building with a marked French influence, was conceived by the French artist Giussepe Majon and supervised by Manuel Ordonez Mata, the owner. The stained glass windows were imported from Belgium and the polychrome brass for the ceilings came from France.

Hortensia Mata was a businesswoman and philanthropist who married the wealthy José Miguel Ordóñez Lazo, and together they were part of the political and economic power groups nationwide, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sixteen children were born from this marriage and the family lived in this house previously known as the Casa Ordonez Jerves. Hortensia was known as the “First Lady of Cuenca” She and her family additionally owned the large magnificent yellow building on Luis Cordero, now called “Casa del Parque” across from Parque Calderon, and currently owned by the Eljuri family.

The first level coming back from Simon Bolivar now houses several stores and businesses. As with many buildings in Cuenca, the interior is much larger than it might seem to be from the street, as the buildings are quite deep – they extend back from the street for a considerable distance.

The front door looks out to Parque Calderon.

From the rear of the building, and up two more levels, the building is used mostly for office spaces.

Grand old staircase.

The passage is from Simon Bolivar, back, and then in an L shape, out to Luis Cordero Street.

In the front of the building there is a charming coffee house.