The Watch

Quinta Heeren

Lima, Peru

1998 and 2006 World Monuments Watch

An innovative residential complex built between 1888 and 1930, the Quinta Heeren was the brainchild of German-born businessman and diplomat Oscar Heeren. With its blend of eclectic European architecture, Japanese aesthetics, and open spaces, the Quinta Heeren was envisioned as a hybrid between urban and suburban living. This unique architectural ensemble was built in the then-fashionable neighborhood of Barrios Altos, where the embassies of Japan, Germany, France, the United States, and many other countries were located. But the area did not fare well after its initial development. Some houses were abandoned when affluent owners left Barrios Altos in the 1930s, and attempts to revitalize the neighborhood in the 1970s were unsuccessful. Earthquakes, exposure to the elements, and poor drainage caused several houses to collapse, while many of those that remained standing became ruins, at risk of being razed. In order to raise awareness about the historic and architectural significance of Quinta Heeren, the site was included on the 1998 World Monuments Watch. After conditions failed to improve, the site was included again on the 2006 Watch in an attempt to promote emergency conservation work.

Since the Watch

During 2015 and 2016 public and private efforts were directed towards the conservation and maintenance of the public spaces of the Quinta, including its historic gardens. Although the buildings are still in need of restoration and lack maintenance, the open spaces of Quinta Heeren are currently open to the public, and tours are scheduled regularly.

Join us in keeping watch over mankind’s greatest achievements, and support this call to action.