The recovery of the Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz for residents and visitors begins to become a reality thanks to the start of some works that, during the next two years, will return this icon of Masonic architecture, unique in Spain, Europe and perhaps in the world, to the place that corresponds to it within the history of the capital. The mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, confesses to DIARIO DE AVISOS that he is “very happy” with this start of the works, which have been “very longed for” (it was one of his first electoral commitments back in 2011), with the that “an architectural jewel that we have in our city is going to be recovered, and that it can become a first-class visitor center, where you can enjoy its history, learn about its architectural treasures, in addition to the value, interest and narrative it produces.
And it is that each of the elements of the Masonic Temple has its reason for being, its placement, its measurements, the colors and even the separation between the columns, is studied to the millimeter, nothing is left to chance within a building that the architects Cabrera and Febles has been in charge of studying to arrive at the elaboration of a project that, finally, begins to become a reality.
Three million euros is the budget with which it is intended to make the Masonic Temple a great visitor center, and which, as Bermúdez defends, “is an investment that has an indisputable return for the city, because, first, it is an obligation to rehabilitate our heritage, and second because each of our projects has the objective of being a center that can be visited, which opens up the possibility that a tourist wants to come and see it. So the economic return of the investment in works of historical heritage is guaranteed”.
The mayor adds that, “in some cases, this return will be of a social nature, such as the ULL headquarters in the Villasegura building (the former School of Commerce), the headquarters of the Royal Academies in the building on the square of Ireneo González, or the House of Youth in the Mascareño House in La Salud”. “In others -he continues- we speak of a clear economic return, because they will be Visitor Centers such as the Rodin Museum in Viera y Clavijo, or the Palacio de Carta, which will house a tourist office and will be the future Museum of History of Santa Cruz ”.
In this context, the Masonic Temple is, without a doubt, the best example. “To talk about the Masonic Temple visitor center is to make it a worldwide attraction.” The latter statement is justified by pointing out that “the Freemasons are millions in the world, and in the places where we are best known, such as the United Kingdom, France, of course Spain, but also South America, they are examples of millions of people who belong to Freemasonry. ”. “The question I ask myself -he continues- is that, taking into account that the Masonic Temple is a world example of Masonic architecture, how many of those Masons who visit Tenerife will not come to see the Temple. I am convinced that we will have many visitors”.
In addition to the prominence that the Masonic Temple will have, there are other projects for the rehabilitation of the Historical Heritage that the mayor has already appointed. “Right now we have a series of very important investments in terms of municipal historical heritage, such as the Palacio de Carta, which is the only façade from the 17th century that remains standing in the city, the only one made of stone, which is another magnificent building that we are about to finish”, says Bermúdez.
A work that, like almost all those related to historical heritage, has suffered and continues to suffer various vicititudes. “Last Monday we lifted the suspension because there were problems with a modification, so I estimate that in the next three months the work will be completely finished,” he added.
In the tour of these buildings immersed in works that will bring them back to life, the municipal councilor points out those of the Viera y Clavijo Cultural Park. “We already have a technical project, which will give way to a rehabilitation of the building, where the Rodin Museum will go in one part, and in another, almost certainly, something that will have to do with sculpture will go, possibly with the International Sculpture Exhibition on the street”.
The mayor of the building in Plaza de Ireneo González, the former School of Arts and Crafts, has not been forgotten, “which also has a technical project and, therefore, the remodeling must be undertaken in the coming years. My idea is to put the work out for competition next year”.
The next building on the rehabilitation route is that of the Marqués de Villasegura, the former School of Commerce, which is under construction. “At the moment the traceback is being eliminated, and the final technical project is being drawn up by the architect Rafael Escobedo”. Works on him could start next year.
The last two projects to which the mayor refers are the putting into use of the Castillo de San Andrés as a visitor center and the Hacienda de Cubas, “a building that we want to be an ethnographic center of Anaga, and for whose rehabilitation we are seeking financing”. “Added everything, we are talking about more than 30 million”, concludes the mayor.