I’m not usually prone to using OMG, particularly as I’m an atheist, but in this case it is appropriate.

Edificio Focsa, the huge, y-shaped concrete arête near the sea in Vedado was apparently christened edificio coño by some of Cuba’s less sophisticated populace.  The phrase translates as something akin to “The oh my god building”, and represented the reaction to seeing something so vast.Havana-2

Havana-3Constructed in the mid 50’s, before the Revolution, its 39 floors, , 373 apartments, 500 space car park, shops, swimming pool, restaurants, pharmacy and TV studio (!) rise 121m above the city.  A real vision of the future when constructed no doubt.

Post revolution the rot set in, or more accurately the Russians.  Used to house the many Soviet personnel who operated in the city, it was allowed to fall into disrepair resulting in a fatality when a lift cable snapped in 2000, and vultures taking up residence (though I’m sure the two events are unconnected).

Many of the references I’ve seen to the building refer to it as FOCSA (all upper case) yet I can find no record of this being an acronym.  Perhaps it just seemed more appropriate to use block capitals for a structure of this scale.Havana



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