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Quinta Gameros Museum

Quinta Gameros Cultural Center has an intensive cultural life, because here are exhibited all the artistic expressions of Chihuahua's society. Besides, it constitutes an architectonic patrimony; a-first-level space to diffuse culture.

A great number of the University events are presented here, at Quinta Gameros, as well as other institutions and other cultural groups. If you are interested on having a cultural or artistic event, contact us at:

Paseo Bolívar No.402, Col. Centro, CP. 31000
Teléfono: (01 614) 410 5474
Fax: (01 614) 437 0957
Chihuahua, Chih.


History

Quinta Gameros is one of the beautiful buildings in town and one of the most magnificent mansions in the country. This construction was designed and built by the Colombian Architect Don Julio Corredor Latorre, under the orders of Don Manuel Gameros.

The construction began in October 1907 and it concluded in November 1910. By then, Chihuahua had a population of 20,000 inhabitants.

In 1904, Mr. Gameros traveled around Europe, visiting France and Germany. In the south of France, he knew an Art Nouveau style mansion, and he returned with the idea of building a similar one.

Architect Julio Corredor Latorre was sent to France in order to get acquainted with the design of the building that enthralled Don Manuel Gameros.

Mr. Gameros was 61 years old at the end of the construction.

By the end of 1910 only a few details were missing to conclude the mansion. That year the Mexican Revolution began.

In November 1913 Manuel Gameros became Senator, and in December, General Francisco Villa took possession of Chihuahua. Regarding these revolutionary issues, the revolutionary forces took la Quinta Gameros and it became the Executive Office, from April to May of 1914, of the Commander-and-chief of the Constitutional Forces Venustiano Carranza.

La Quinta Gameros witnessed many events that had deep impact in the revolutionary leaders' relations, and the development of the war.

This facility was used as a prison, and as Francisco Villa's headquarters. When the Revolution concluded and after the new national order, family Russek Gameros inhabited the mansion from 1921 to 1926. On November 9th 1926, Quinta Gameros was sold to the State Government.

Quinta Gameros had many uses as a public building. It was the Palace of Justice. Thereafter, it was established as the department of Public Education as well as the Registrar's Office. Subsequently, it became a radio station, the Water Department, and the Local Road Committee office. Mrs. Martha Russek Gameros tells in her book "Historia de la Quinta Gameros (History of Quinta Gameros)" that this Mansion was used as a hospital (Hospital de la Sangre).

On December 1954, this facility served as Office of the University President, as well as the School of Civil Engineering, Law, and Music. These remained here until 1958 when they moved to the new university campus.

On May 9th 1958, Governor Teofilo Borunda signed a commodatum, between the University of Chihuahua and the Antropology and History National Institute, to open at Quinta Gameros the Regional Museum of the State of Chihuahua.

In October 1968, Governor Oscar Ornelas conceded the autonomy to the University of Chihuahua. Thus, La Quinta Gameros became part of the University patrimony. In 1971, Pedro Fossas Requena and the

Antropology and History National Institute signed a commodatum to enhance the beauty of La Quinta Gameros with furniture of Requena Collection (Colección Requena). In September 1991, the University Senate changed the name of the museum from Museo Regional Quinta Gameros (Quinta Gameros Regional Museum) to "Centro Cultural Quinta Gameros" (Quinta Gameros Cultural Center).

The Nacional committee of Artistic Monuments and Zones declared Quinta Gameros as a "Nacional Artistic Monument". This declaration was published in the Congressional Records, on December 22nd of 2000.


Architecture

The construction area of Quinta Gameros consists of 1195.99 sq. yards. Included in the site are a front courtyard and a back garden. Part of the house is enclosed by a splendid iron railing. In its gate it is possible to read anagrams of Don Manuel Gameros. The main Façade marks the entrance with four exquisitely engraved female sculptures; while in the upper part of this façade, there are four male sculptures set on the gable. A beautiful double ramp staircase encloses a fountain of fishing kids and it is the access to the porch which ceiling is constituted by the upper terrace. It has a magnificent stucco-work that consists of flowerlike bas-relieves. The mansards of the dormer windows are finished with pinnacles, wood boards covered with zinc tiles, and adorned with crestings.

The external ornamentation consists of a great number of flowery, anthropomorphic, and zoomorphic details majestically engraved in stone. The house has four levels: the basement, the ground floor, the first floor, and the flat roof.

The main vestibule -ground floor- is illuminated by skylights and surrounded in the second floor by a corridor limited by carved wood handrail. The vestibule has four entrances to the four elegant salons that expose the Art Nouveau Furniture Collection of the Requena family. In the interior decoration, we can find pastel colors, stucco walls that reproduce squares, rectangles, and some stylized and volute vegetable and flowerlike forms. There are some human sculptures supporting the interior arches and lintels, as well as the special decorations of the ceilings and the walls, everything worked courteously and with great finesse. The woodwork in doors and windows is also admirable in this floor.

Ascending through the monumental double-ramp staircase, illuminated by a majestic Tiffany stain-glass window, we can find, in the first floor, a corridor -limited by a carved wood handrail. Herein, we can reach the bedrooms and the bathrooms.

The flooring of both the ground and the first levels were constructed of parquetry. The coating of walls in the rooms has been done with plaster. To access the flat roof, it is necessary to take one of the two stairways, each one located in the posterior sides of the house, which end in a bricked roof. In this level, we can find some service rooms. The roofs of the rooms close in proportionally to form the mansard, which is finished with four pinnacles located in each corner of the house. Up here, we can also find the cupola where the lightning rod stands.

The basement has two entrances. This lodges the caldron, bathrooms, and it has a big storage space. It is located underneath the main vestibule.

The right-side facade of the house is conceived as a grand basic rectangle. At center, there is the round tower of the cupola where, in its lower part, we can find the lateral entrance of the house.

There is a great harmonic interaction produced by the rounded and angled shapes of this façade. Roses and feminine masks domain in the decorative relieves. However, the salamanders that decorate the base of the thick stone volutes that support the upper balconies portray more interesting details. It deserves to mention the undulating iron railings of the balconies influenced by Art Nouveau.

Despite of being the less ornamented, the posterior facade, is also beautiful and imposing. It consists of a garish central arch that conform the windows of the main perron, in which its medullar part is a leaded stain-window. Although this part has little stone-work and most of its coating is plaster, it constitutes a great aesthetic contrast.