Olde Capitol of Central America

Antigua Guatemala is the ancient former capitol of Central America, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1981/82 I began architecture school at MSU as a totally naive 18-year old kid. I was completely overwhelmed with college and had no idea whether i’d survive to actually become a registered architect. But one of the first realizations was this – A professor told us that architects should continually travel to learn from places all over the world. I found that encouragement to travel a grand idea!

I’ve just returned from an extraordinary place – Antigua Guatemala – surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Some of those volcanoes are still active; we actually could see the red glow at night!

While my design practice will likely never include Spanish Colonial stylistic requirements, the “ideas” within this place are boundless and applicable to almost any architect’s work. The colors & textures, the proportions, the urban vistas/views, the lush courtyards, the food, flora and people… all amazing and inspiring!

I took home photos and ideas …. derived from 500-year-old structures designed and built by local Guatemalans working with transplanted Spanish Colonists. But THAT was not the original impetus for the trip itself, which was to learn about a wonderful organization – Caoba Windows and Doors.

Employee parking lot – yea i know right?

For over 30 years, Caoba Doors has been a family owned and operated manufacturer of architectural windows, doors and millwork, specializing in luxury residential, hospitality, commercial and historic restoration projects. Located in the central highlands of Antigua, Guatemala, their 150,000 sq. ft. factory is situated on 10 acres, has 6 additional wood drying kilns and over a million board feet of lumber storage area and approximately 260 employees.

New friends were made here, and the weather is what I imagine for Heaven. This place is a paradise, and I fully intend on a return trip soon!

References & Recommended Resources:

Uploaded February 2020 – DTW’s Blog #0050

D. Tracy Ward, Architect

Our Original Posts, including images when applicable, are copyrighted © 1993-2019 by D. Tracy Ward, Architect and Benchmark Design, PC.  “By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”   (Proverbs 24:3-4)

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