Impressive and strong, Lonja del Comercio was the seat of Cuba’s national stock exchange prior to the revolution. Construction on Lonja del Comercio (Chamber of Commerce) started in 1907 and was completed in 1909. The lead architects on the project were Thomas Mur and Jose Toraya who were assigned the job by US construction firm Purdy and Henderson. The original design only called for five floors. Additional floors were added during a large rehabilitation project .

Lonja del Comercio circa 1920

Lonja del Comercio circa 1920

The distinctive Renaissance styled design and strong, businesslike character are in sharp contrast to many of the surrounding buildings that maintained Old Habana traditional colonial architecture. Near Havana’s Plaza de San Francisco, Lonja del Comercio has been declared on of the most prominent structures in 20th century Cuba.During the Revolution, the exchange building came under fire and suffered damage and neglect until 1995 when the façade and interior received facelifts. A Spanish-Cuban renovation project known as Aurea SA readied the building for new occupants.

Today the building houses important office like the BBC, Brazilian Embassy, Associated Press and Habana Radio.

An intricate bronze statue of Mercury, the Greek god of trade, sits stop Lonja del Comercio.

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