Pasaje León

Presidente Córdova 10-79

A Guide to Cuenca Architecture #38 PASAJE LEÓN. The León Passage was designed by the León Delgado family in 1930 as a large urban boulevard for commercial activities. Its construction was funded by the Delgado family, which had amassed a fortune through the exportation of Panama hats. It was planned as the first “Shopping Street in Cuenca.” Pasaje León was designed by Carlos Ordóñez Mata, and influenced by French neoclassical design. The entrance is on Presidente Córdova, bordering Plaza San Francisco. The door is an exquisite example of intricate wrought-iron, 26 feet high.

Internally, the spaces are organized around the “passage” and have relatively high ceilings, while the different sections of the building are connected via bridges with Art Nouveau ironwork. All the internal spaces, including the staircases, have polychrome brass ceilings.

The front door overlooks Plaza San Francisco.

Plaza San Francisco vendors.

All of the original floor tiles were restored.

The building has been used for several purposes. Around 1946 it accommodated railway warehouses, and in the 1950s it was turned into a boarding house for students.
In the 1980s the west side of the building was damaged by fire, resulting in the replacement of ceilings, windows and a staircase.

French neoclassic design, very popular in Cuenca at the beginning of the 1900’s, which was a time of great prosperity for the city of Cuenca.

Brass is one of the most attractive elements of the decoration . There are more than 1,968 sq ft of polychrome brass that adorn the ceiling and moldings of the central patio.

Beautiful twenty-six foot high wrought iron door

In 2015 the City of Cuenca executed a complete restoration of the building which at that point had been abandoned for almost a year. Ten property restorers recovered the wooden doors that were over 80 years old and moth-eaten. They were covered with chemicals that will protect them for decades The experts also improved the front door, wrought iron railings and the original tiles of the courtyard. The restoration was completed in 2015 during the administration of Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera.

During the restoration, this inscription was found painted on a wooden beam ” Esta casa en 1934 pintó Gabriel G. Guncay.”