Casa del Parque / Mansion Matilde

Luis Cordero y Simon Bolivar

This building, built in 1880, was originally owned by the Ordóñez Mata family. The family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were involved in powerful national political and economic groups. They exported quinine, cocoa husks and Panama hats, and the family members included governors of Azuay, bishops and cardinals.

At the end of the 19th century the family commissioned two French artists (René Chaubert and Giussepe Majon) to redesign, build and decorate their various dwellings. Chaubert taught the local craftsmen wrought and cast iron techniques, which were then applied to balconies, doors and railings and nearly always included plant motifs. Attributed to the Latacunga architect N. Cornejo, this building displays a Renaissance-style façade.

Two large sections were in the original house: A service section, which was entered through Luis Cordero Street, and the main or residential part, where the family settled. This section was entered through Simón Bolívar Street. At the back of the service section was a courtyard where quinine husks were processed prior to sale.

The city’s main political and social events between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries took place in this house, as it was the only dwelling at the time suitable for accommodating illustrious guests. Its owner Hortensia Mata, hosted numerous club gatherings, and important political receptions.

When Doña Hortensia passed away, her heirs lived here for many years. Later, Mrs. Gladys Eljuri Antón acquired the property. In 2014, the idea for this project was formulated and in 2016 the restoration of this house began, which was closed for many years.  The idea was to build a gastronomic and cultural center in the Historic Center of Cuenca.  The restoration took four years, and Casa del Parque opened in 2020. 

Casa del Parque offers a great variety of gastronomic experiences with different flavors and costs.  On the ground level. there are nine stores, restaurants, and cafes.   

The murals were painstakingly restored.

Just this past week, the upstairs level of the building was opened to the public.  It is called Mansion Matilde – an architectural and cultural treasure for the city. All of the work was done under the supervision of the owners Mrs. Gladys Elijuri, and her husband Mr. Antonio Alvarez.  The architect was Esteban Espinosa.  The exquisite restoration work was supervised by Ana Urgilés.

There are five different rooms on the second level in Mansion Matilde. 

The Turquoise Tea Room serves a traditional English High Tea, with finger sandwiches, delightful pastries and a full menu of teas.   The room is named after the gorgeous original turquoise wallpaper with gold accents. 

Angels in the Architecture!

Bar 1880 is a great room for enjoyment of drinks and cocktails, while enjoying the fabulous view over Parque Calderon, and the New Cathedal.

There is a more formal restaurant “El Preferido de Matilde” serving classic gastronomy with local touches, with a capacity for just 20 persons. And then there are two meeting rooms – The Treaties Hall, and the Diplomatic Hall, with a capacity up to 40 persons for business appointments, and social events, birthday parties, engagement parties, and anniversaries. 

Casa del Parque, and Mansion Matilde have been restored as true architectural and cultural treasures, that will please your taste buds, in so many varied ways; and also completely delight your eyes!