Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Is Villa Calavrenzo threatened with demolition?

One of the most beautiful old mansions of Corfu, Villa Calavrenzo in Kanoni, is said to be threatened with demolition. Situated in the confluence of the Palaiopolis and Faiakon streets, it dominates the area with its victorian beauty. The building is unoccupied and derelict for many years and it seems that nobody wants to buy and renovate it (a plaque at the front of the building, inform us that it is for sale). Recently, I heard that the property will be bought by someone who wants to build an apartment block in its place. That means another outstanding piece of architecture will be gone for ever, like so many others destroyed by some mindless and uneducated people.

Let's have a quick look at its history:

Villa Calavrenzo was built in 1900 (like a plaque on its front wall suggest) by the rich Konstantinos Calavrenzo. Calavrenzo is said to had been of south italian origin (from the province of Calabria in the southernwestern side of the italian peninsula). It boasted an innovative for its times mechanical system which lifted the food cooked in the kitchen from the ground floor to the upper floors.
In 1916, during the short lived french occupation, the villa housed the headquarters of general De Mondesir.
After WWI, the villa was the home of Georgios Calavrenzo, son of Konstantinos, which lived there until his death in 1965. After his death, the building was left unoccupied but the people, even nowadays, call the neighbouring area "Kalavrentzou" after the owner of the villa.

The front of the villa, notice the "for sale" sign

The plague right next to the gate which it could read: "Villa Calavrenzo"

The plague which reads "ETOΣ 1900" ("YEAR 1900") was left to fade like the rest of the building

Various images of the Villa Calavrenzo

Don't you think that this is a lovely building? Would you like to see it gone away forever?
Something should be done to persuade the new owners not to tear it down and renovate it to its former glory. Also, the local goverment should list this edifice like a protected building like all those already protected ones in various parts of the island.

1 comment:

George said...

Very informative article, even if I'm from Corfu island as well, I didn't know the history of this garage. I also believe that its a matter of time to build a new building in this area as you say too.